Review: Indoor Voices / Tear Talk

Indoor Voices - S/T EP
(2012 Bleeding Gold)
"Glassy, Rippling"

I recently received a healthy sum of vinyl from Bleeding Gold and it's been hard to select just a few for review; everything they put out, usually focusing on symphonic shoegaze and jangly twee-pop, is dreamy and lovable. And no recent Bleeding Gold release is more ambrosial than that of Toronto's shoegaze-slinging quintet, Indoor Voices. The first thing that really struck me about this EP is the jacket it's housed in. Of course, the hazy, Slowdive-ian art won me over, but it was its weight and sturdiness that really caught my attention. To me, packaging is almost as much of an art as music itself.

Taking the record's number one slot is its most immediate tune, "Still". Saturated electric strummings interplay with crisp percussion; flute-like synths and fluttering distortion can be heard deep beneath the gorgeous display, as if the clanks and grumbles one hears coming from the crawlspace of a century-old house. There's a guest vocalist harmonizing with project frontman Jonathan Relph on each track, and Catherine Debard lends her detached intonations to this one, giving it the sleepy vibe of a My Bloody Valentine tune. Rounding off the A-Side is the synth-driven "So Smart", a song that creates its own glassy, rippling atmosphere. "Hung Out" slows the tempo to a crawl, a spacey combination of warm tones and droning chords. A perfect finish to a near-perfect EP.

Tear Talk - Breathe
(2013 Bleeding Gold)
"Slick, ultra-modern jams"

This single is also a standout in the Bleeding Gold discography, housed in an awesome die-cut sleeve. Here, Liverpool's Tear Talk serve up two slick, ultra modern jams that are somehow simultaneously sparse and layered. A-Side "Breathe" opens with an intro of warbly guitars and minimal percussion when, suddenly, a stark rhythm hijacks the track, giving it a sleek aura that reminds one of the XX. Melodramatic keyboards and hollow fuzz tossed into the mix only heighten the song's appeal. I actually prefer the B-Side, "Only Illusions", on this single. With hints of early goth music, distortion and delay are used in copious amounts as beautiful noise towers into the atmosphere and dives back to earth as if a music driven roller-coaster. At times, it echoes the sound of The Cure's Disintegration era. Like most offerings on Bleeding Gold, the music this single delivers is worthy of its gorgeous cover art.