Sunday 16 September 2012

Dead Leaf Echo - Kingmaker

Single review by KevW

Could this New York band really have named the first single from their new album after Hull's finest 90s indie band, Kingmaker? It's unlikely, although Dead Leaf Echo do have a sound that draws on bands from that era. If you can picture the blurry, grey area where shoegaze and dreampop overlap, it is there that these four reside, heavy with reverb, twangy with guitars, softly softly wispy with the vocals and distant with drums. 'Kingmaker' is the musical equivalent to staring aimlessly into the middle distance in a semi-lucid state, with the wall of fuzz gently enveloping you. It's more catatonic than Catatonia ever were and its hazy glow is pure musical fantasy land, like bouncing around on the clouds and other such nonsense. You get the idea. It's wonderful.

This single was originally released digitally at the start of the year, and while many music fans (particularly collectors) curse reissues as it means parting with more cash for a differently packaged version of something you already own, in this instance we should be very glad. Not only because it gives us the chance to own a physical copy, but it gives this relatively unknown song another brief spell in the spotlight, which is exactly where it should be. B-side 'I Belong' sees the lucidity slip further away as we're treated to two minutes of breathy sighs and the sound of guitars being put into a hypnotic trance. The video that accompanies it is perfect, capturing that fantasy dream land expertly. Maybe Dead Leaf Echo are destined to be the new dreampop kings.

Dead Leaf Echo's website

Buy the single

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