Friday 31 October 2014


On the surface, from the start at least, this track by California ("the deserts east of Los Angeles") band DEAREST could seem just like a "regular", but still v v good, indie track – the guitars speak with a delicate honesty, the vocals stream out with soft aching (I mean, just check out (0:45) the sweetly poignant way in which singer, Tessa Bolsover, poses the question, "Do you still have dreams / of endless highways?"), a drum machine patters its pattern in the background. Everything seems normal.

But just under halfway, a portal opens up. You step through. 'Beacon' receives a simple bassline and some gentle noise plays a cosmic solo, sounds like a theremin. Vocals arrive in pitch-shifted layers, "ahh ahh ahhhh…", thin cymbals like white noise rain pour down, the beat feels bigger, kicks more pronounced…

So yes, you get the picture: this is anything but regular. Electronic precision with its clinical cosmos-conjuring vibe is paired with the raw, stark reality of live instruments, and as you heard even the vocals do not go unaltered, themselves pulled like a yielding star into the enveloping black hole of the electronics' manipulation. It is simultaneously cold and comforting, sharp and soft – long dead and perpetually haunting, but desperately alive at the same time.

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