Whenever I get ill – or have a monstrous hangover – a strange thing happens. My music tastes reset. I may have been cheerfully tapping my foot to ever more searingly fierce music up until that point but all of a sudden, intensity – the central theme in my love of music – is the last thing I want.
So post-swine flu and yesterday’s Pulled Apart by Horses digression aside, I have been oddly fascinated by the debut album of utterly non-heavy and indeed somewhat jangly Air Waves.
At first glance, Dungeon Dots is the sort of album I would go out of my way to avoid. Endorsed by arch-muppet Dan Deacon in the bastion of idiocy P4K and with a very hipster-friendly album cover, the signs were grim and pointed to yet more chillwave nonsense (never have I been less enthused by an underground genre) or so-called surf pop.
However, what we get is an album of jangly, folky pop that pulls off being playfully warm and upbeat at the same time as being somewhat melancholic and introspective.
As another reviewer says, there are plenty of deja vu moments on Dungeon Dots. Yet that’s not a negative and this sense of can’t-quite-put-your-finger-on-it familiarity draws you in.
There’s certainly a touch of Cat Power but also peak-era James (especially the guitar riff and ooh-ooh backing vocals in album highlight Sweetness) and perhaps early 90s alt-rock like Throwing Muses or Belly. That’s only scratching the surface too.
Here’s some audio from Youtube. I haven’t been able to dig up any decent video, sorry.
Not heavy but still rather good.