Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cassette Review:
"Deep River Series EP"
(Lazy Octopus Records)

50 SEK //
Edition of 100 // //

To say I feel a special connection with music which was posted under my #SongOfTheDay list and then became more songs after that would be an understatement.   Creating a #SongOfTheDay list was one of the best decisions I ever made.  As with a few other artists (so far) when I get a cassette such as from DEEREST I can remember the name because of the #SongOfTheDay.   I've not had as many songs as there are days in the year thus far, but if you look at the artists who have been there and had full reviews... they're among the top albums of the year, really (Tony Njoku, Typhoon, Poster Children, Hey Elbow, Rich Girls, etc.)  DEEREST is not immune to this as they first started in this extended family of #SongOfTheDay love and now join an even more select group who have been reviewed as well.

"Deep River Series EP" opens with the track "Waves Could Not Be Seen", which was our #SongOfTheDay back on February 17th.    What follows are songs which are not easy to describe because they pull you in one direction and yet somehow remain in another.   On one hand, I want to think of a certain level of darkness to this music.  I want it to be on "The Crow" soundtrack.  I want to compare it with PJ Harvey and Garbage.   But it doesn't have as much Garbage influence as you might feel like it should based upon the notion that when you first hear these songs you might think of them as being dark, and thus, if you're dark and sort of electronic why don't you have a Garbage influence.

Melodies are a strong part of this cassette.   The songs themselves are at a generally chill pace as well.  They can feel like you're drifting, floating through space and yet at the same time that darkness level can bring you right back to Earth and seemingly haunt you.   Is there some form of combination of chillwave, darkwave and electronics which are also heavy on the melodies?   That could be where we put DEEREST, but as I always like to say about the best music I hear: it doesn't shape genres, it defines them.   Influences of Polly Scattergood and Metric come out as the songs feel dreamy and it's just... it's such an odd combination, though it might not seem like it on paper (or computer screen)  Combining these melodies with that edge of darkness is unlike anything I've heard before.

And one of the biggest things about it, as well, just to further show how much this has not really been done before, is that it feels like there should be an easy example to make here.   The way the music sounds, it feels as if it has this simple idea where you could just go "Oh, it's Joan Jett fronting Nine Inch Nails".    But you can't.   There aren't such easy connections to be made, despite the music making it seem like there should be.   The guitars ring through just as much as the vocals command attention and the drumming just comes in at all of the perfect times.

Perhaps the best way to think of DEEREST is not so much as what it is but rather what it is not.   If these songs took on more of a shoegaze type of sound and weren't so dark, it could easily be something like Mazzy Star or Cowboy Junkies.   Yet, if the darkness took over and it was more electronic, it'd be more like SPC ECO.   So it would stand to argue that if you are a fan of either of those balances of music or just strong rock in general then DEEREST is what you should be cranking out of your speakers.  And, yes, I've listened to this through my Walkman and despite the pacing of the songs themselves it somehow made everything I saw going on around me feel so different, as if time was out of place.

No comments:

Post a Comment