Review: Soft Pastels - "Sand"

Soft Pastels - Sand
(Self-Released 2013)
"A monolithic ambience that fills up the whole of your conscience"

I founded this blog with the intent of reviewing bands like Wild Nothing, Twin Cabins and Airiel, and it feels like I've lost that focus lately. This is due mostly to the fact that there seems to be a drought of quality lo-fi dream pop released in the past few months, leaving me to explore other genres. With this in mind, Soft Pastels' new EP Sand is a pleasant return to reverb soaked music, replicating the the gloomy shoegaze sparkle of Wild Nothing's Gemini and coating it with home-recorded grit. There's a beautiful simplicity to appreciate in the guitar notes plucked by Soft Pastels, and the humming, saturated chords that accompany them keep the listener fixated on each one.

The percussion on the title track is barely noticeable, allowing the narcotic layers of watery guitar plenty of space to seep into your skull, the low notes forming a monolithic ambience that fills up the whole of your conscience and hardens. The mind-numbing drones are only broken by vaporous vocals that hang heavy in the soundscape's humid atmosphere. Things brighten up a bit on "Beach Rain", featuring guitar that reminded me partly of King Krule's "Out Getting Ribs" and also of Craft Spells' "Party Talk". The shimmering tambourine gives the song a nice means of propulsion. If you've been missing the early sound of Captured Tracks, this EP might just fill that void. Listen below.