Review: Afterlife - Little Chords

Afterlife - Little Chords
(2012 Self-Released)
  Afterlife, the first full length creation by Teen Daze spinoff Little Chords, is a mature step forward for everyone's favorite dream-tronica group. After many dancefloor ready and keyboard driven releases, this Vancouver artist has decided to slow things down and let the guitar have a little time to shine. The result is magical, something along the lines of Real Estate or Beach Fossils' more mellow moments. If you're on the lookout for some songs to lounge around to this summer, (it's not that far away!) Little Chords is your best bet.

  On the album opener, "Firsts," Little Chords infuses a catchy staccato guitar line with his all too dreamy synths that sounds along the lines of Tears for Fears when it reaches its crescendos. "New Town," the following track, borrows the drums from The Jesus and Mary Chain's hit, "Just Like Honey." That alone is enough to give it indie cred for me, but chorus drenched guitars that positively melt in your mouth (only way I could really describe it) make this a heavenly track. I'm looking forward to listening to it at the pool this summer with its Beach Boys infused harmonies.

  The recording on "Always/Never" is a bit muddled but still echoes the lo-fi sounds of early Captured Tracks recordings, especially those of the prolific Blank Dogs. It boasts one of the catchiest basslines I've ever had the pleasure of listening to and is just over two and a half minutes, Perfect for a quick shoegaze fix. After such a quiet track, "Saturday" comes roaring in, a tribute to New Order and a throwback to Teen Daze's older style. "Afterlife" takes a while to reach its rich harmonies, so it might be one you'll skip through often but it's still a decent track. "Clearbrook" is a nice instrumental piece in the vein of Ducktails, a good song to surf the web to.

   "When Love Ends" is a fast and upbeat track that brings the album back into full swing after two slow, meandering songs. This is my favorite track combining the aspects of many great bands of the 80s and modern times. A Wild Nothing-esque falsetto is featured on "For You" and has a very atmospheric trip-hop vibe. Listen is an airy, ear clogging shoegaze masterpiece. It's a perfect way to end a stellar album. Make sure you be the first of your friends to buy Afterlife so you can say you knew Little Chords before they were cool.

Feast your ears on the album here.

Also, check out his excellent cover of "Shook Down," one of my favorite songs by Yuck.

Happy music hunting everybody!