Another term, another reconnaissance mission to the newest beats on the block. If you’re new to Nouse, this is where we sniff out bands who only have self-released 7”s to their name in an attempt to make ourselves look prescient should any of them get big.
This time around, I’ve been looking for dream pop shenanigans, having just come off a tranquil Cocteau Twins bender. With Beach House and School of Seven Bells currently riding the waves of cool, the market for ethereal synths, cooing angel voices and wobbly dub bass is becoming rather over-saturated so let’s pick out a few groups who aren’t just faces in the crowd.
Firstly, Sleep ∞ Over have a perfect dream-pop name – soporific, teenage and containing the infinity symbol slap bang in the middle. Their song ‘Outer Limits’ is the kind of record I’d take up with me if I won a ticket on Richard Branson’s shuttle to the stars, provided turntable needles work in zero gravity. There’s a definite Liz Fraser/Julee Cruise touch to the vocals and the overall effect upon listening is that you’re floating in a warm bubble. Foetal. A warning though – you’ll keep listening to this song on repeat like a happy zombie after you’ve heard it a few times. Get the 7” on Forest Family. Elsewhere, tunes go from gorgeous drifting cloudlike sounds that will send you spiralling off into the cosmos to scarier distorted nightmare tracks, so don’t get too comfortable.
Dirty Beaches of Canada twin early Suicide demo vibes with baleful seaside sadness; perfect for summer’s end. ‘True Blue’ is a dusky acoustic number which makes me feel like Bobby Vinton has fallen in love with me, died, possessed a childhood tape recorder in my room, and is now attempting to seduce me through song. Try to track down the 7″ on Zoo Music – it’s sold out but that just makes the chase more fun. As well as several burnt out semi-acoustic numbers, a spookadelic cover of The Stooges’ ‘No Fun’ proves the project to be a genuine claimant to the throne of Alan Vega and Martin Rev. If M.I.A.’s sampling of the synth-punk legends has left a sour taste in your mouth, the Beaches may well sweeten you up. If you can’t get hold of a release, play a thoroughly worn-out copy of Springsteen’s ‘Nebraska’ and drop a tab of blue sunshine. It will sound the same.
oOoOO have a pretty poor moniker. Like some sort of noise a camp ghost would make. Their MySpace resembles a faux-goth fashion blog but the tunes are great, in the same black vein as much fêted witch-house ghouls Salem and White Ring but prettier. While 80s synths echo about and there’s generally a luxuriant, velvety quality to their palette, every now and then they’ll take you by surprise with a horror movie sound effect or overdriven guitar burst. Overall, dubstep rhythms collide with glittering electronics, contemporary R&B effects and distant, wraithlike vocal emanations in a haunting, but soothing way. While everything about them screams ‘internet’, they do feel refreshingly shiny and new. There’s a single on iTunes, a couple of tracks on Spotify, and a CDR from Disaro Records – spin it for the perfect spooky/sexy Halloween.