Saturday 1 March 2014

Dead Leaf Echo - true.deep.sleep

EP review by

I suppose calling yourselves "nouveau wave" is a bit more exotic than plain old "new-wave", isn't it? It's interesting that this New York bunch go for either of those terms really. Yes, you can here the influence of new-wave on new EP 'true.deep.sleep.', perhaps more than on previous releases like 'Kingmaker', but realistically anyone hearing these songs would jump straight on the terms "shoegaze" and "baggy". Both were at their peak (first time around anyway) at around the same time, and the two did infiltrate each other, leading to several bands that made very similar music to that which is on Dead Leaf Echo's new EP. Never is this more evident than on the opening bars of 'true.deep.sleeper', a song that takes misty effects and faraway, drifting vocals and then picks up a frantic, dancy beat and some wah-wah guitar and dumps it right on top, creating a whirlwind of sound that's totally invigorating.

Steering a little closer to dreamy shoegaze land is 'so.wrong', a track that's very much in the vein of the opener, but a bit less full-on, a bit more jangly and otherworldly, but it's still propelled by a beat that makes it both ethereal and danceable at the same time, and few bands can manage that. The guitar solo brings in extra light, as though the sun just got brighter for a few seconds, not that it was ever dark in the first place. It brings a mysterious feel to the song. Talking of which, 'blind.island' feels as though you're actually trapped in a dream. Nothing is quite right, yet nothing feels bad. It's a weird and wonderful floating effect where sounds phase in and out, crafting a real atmosphere for a while. They almost go full circle, from the dancy, baggy 'true.deep.sleeper. to the chilled and dubby 'heaven.sent.sleeper. It's the type of tune you play when the party ends and everyone chills out watching the sun rise and reflecting on a great night. It almost leaves us believing that they're neither shoegaze or new-wave at all, they're just a bunch of ravers who happen to have guitars. Either way, it works a treat, so they can call themselves what the heck they like.

Dead Leaf Echo's website

Stream the EP in full

Buy the EP

Catch them live:

3.1 Toronto CA Smiling Buddha
3.2 Hamilton CA Casbah
3.3 Detroit MI. New Way Bar
3.4 Ft. Wayne IN. The Brass Rail
3.5 Cincinnati OH. MOTR
3.6 Milwaukee WI. Riverwest Public House Cooperative
3.7 Minneapolis MN. Triple Rock Social Club
3.8 Chicago IL. The Empty Bottle
3.9 St. Louis MO The Firebird
3.10 Lawrence KS. Eighth St. Taproom
3.11. Ft. Worth TX. Lola's Saloon
3.12. Dallas TX. The Crown and Harp
3.13. Houston TX. Fitzgerald's
3.13. SXSW
3.14. SXSW
3.15. SXSW (Official Showcase Night)
3.16. Mobile Al. The Blind Mule Restaurant & Bar
3.17. Atlanta GA. TBD
3.18. Asheville NC. The Mothlight
4.19. New York NY. PIANOS Opening for David J (Bauhaus, Love & Rockets)

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