Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fake Tears: "Nightshifting" (album review)

Individually Larissa Layva and Elisha May Rembold have been kicking around working with some big Canadian indie names for years.  Now they've joined forces, and recruited Jay Arner to produce, to release the album Nightshifting under the name Fake Tears.

The album is an unapologetic nod to 1980's electronic music, particularly the melodic shoegaze sounds of bands like Cocteau Twins and the winding Goth of Dead Can Dance.

The most heavily '80s-influenced tracks include the Anglo-adoring "Hearts Break" and "Night Box" with it's impulsive beat and infectious groove.

There are moments, however, when the arrangements verge on grating.  The repetitive and drowsiness-inducing opener "You Want the Light" is not the ideal way to introduce the record.

The counterbalance to the celestial twinkle of the electronics is the harmony in the duo's vocals.  Unfortunately, aside from "14 Storeys" it is never the focal point that it deserves to be.

The elements do manage to weave together beautifully on "Uncanny Valley", turning it into a dream mash-up between Kraftwerk and The Bangles.

Occasionally the tracks are simply dull.  Cuts like "Small Fires" and "Rite of the First Night" fail to make any real impression.

Despite some moments of attractive melodies, Nightshifting never establishes itself as an album that you must absolutely listen to.

Best tracks: "Night Box", "Uncanny Valley"

Track listing for Nightshifting:
  • You Want the Light
  • Hearts Break
  • Second Wind
  • 14 Storeys
  • Night Box
  • Rite of the First Night
  • Uncanny Valley
  • Small Faces
  • The Party Ends

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