Monday, April 22, 2013

Band of the Week: Houses


This weekend was a weird one. Standing high up in my sun-streaked apartment, and on certain sides of the street, it finally felt like spring in Toronto. Mind you, the slide of my balcony door and trying to sit on a patio said otherwise - but, either way, this gorgeous new album from chillwave group Houses really, really made it feel like the tides were turning when it played on repeat.

A blend of soothing synth-pop and down-tempo piano ambience, Houses' decelerated second album A Quiet Darkness reminds me of the first time I heard Aqualung, a few years into the millennium. Plainly perfect male vocals aching over pretty low-fi balladry make this some of the most stunning background noise I've heard in awhile, kind of like David Gray-style songwriting without the obvious pop messaging, and just as much feeling. Some of the songs feature tinkering melodies that could be described as more uplifting, but for the most part - Dexter Tortoriello's jaded vocals aren't trying to mask the music as anything but honestly, and beautifully, melancholy.

Buy the whole thing and let it play through.

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