I’m writing up an EP entitled ‘Reunion’ from a duo in LA and Nashville. Given the U.S. and world-shaping week that’s just gone, this could be either something meticulously planned or an act of fantastic coincidence. Either way, the alignment’s not lost. But sadly, and on a confessional note, this is me playing catch up with stack of reviews I’ve been wanting to get to for weeks. It just happened this was next on this list.
‘Reunion’ is a slow burn of dreamwave pop glitter. In four tracks that melt through their ambient textures, there’s sweet retro synth sounds and soft electronica, and lush smoothed out vocals to soothe us. Each track creeps in and comfortably settles, like a welcome too-long unseen houseguest. Every song is familiar, nostalgic. It feels good to catch up and check in.
This guilt-free sugared mix of shoegaze and indie can trace lines from the The Know back to Beach House. Simple drums click and punch through its syrupy sheen and guitars are served sparse, clean and shining. Its cool slice of retro comes from 80s-kissed toms that are programmed and placed with precision. And at times we grove easy to the warm 90s alt-indie of The Cardigans’ ‘Gran Turismo’ and St Etienne.
This soft candy gloss is beguiling, all these saccharin sounds surround loneliness. The more we tune in, the more the concealed threads of nihilistic themes starts to poke out above all the sweetness. ‘Between The Bars’ could be end of night down-time. But dig deep and it feels like a string of goodbyes that have started to lose all their meaning. It’s the second and thinnest track on here, Kelsey’s vocals move slow at their richest, forlorn against simplified synths.
While the title track moves with most energy, it’s the closing track ‘Coupe’ that best finds that mix of stripped down alt-pop and sad-dance. Its pulsating pushes of basslines and drums keep us moving deceptively slowly. The black arts of Robyn and M83 are alive in the filtered electronic production, and again we get caught in the glow.
While too easy to dismiss for its palatable sounds, the Reunion EP keeps attention. Nihilistic, lonely and cute sugared shoegaze? I should have known I’d buy in from the start.