Lo-fi / Shoegaze / Bedroom pop
RIYL: Dum Dum Girls, Elliott Smith, The Smiths
When musicians come together to record, there is a certain energy in a room that can be harnessed in a recording. For COLIC, their record Cross Country us more than just a name. Instead of being able to harness that energy the band, comprised of Meghann Dyke and Jimmy Turner, the duo have used their distance as an advantage. This advantage is that of perspective. Despite the miles between them while mapping the record (Dyke in San Diego, Calif., and Turner in Charlotte, NC), they wrote, composed and produced this, their first proper full-length release.
That said, it’s amazing to hear music that is assembled the way COLIC did. When writing, songsmiths certainly have their own process, and with the wealth of sonic diversity, its apparent that this arrangement works artistically. “Swimming” meanders but has a stellar back beat and 808 flourishes. The inclusion of serene woodwind is also welcomed. As the album progresses, there are a cornucopia of sonic textures throughout.
Those textures come through in the haunting electric ruminations of “Cemetery.” From a semantics perspective, it is apt that the sonic structure and sound of the track is darker than the rest of the record – thematically, the song title just makes sense. Further, the ethereal uneasiness of the track offsets some of the brighter moments on the record. Songs like “Up Front” and “East West” contain a new wave vibe, while also dipping their toes into the guitar bends, now commonplace thanks to Mac DeMarco.
Further, we hear that slacker rock vibe, melded with a keen lo-fi aesthetic similar to that of bands like the Dum Dum Girls, Cults, and others. This, mixed with the somberness of “Hide,” its hard to overlook the fact the Elliott Smith somehow influences the sonic texture of the album as well.
Ultimately, unbridled by typical compositional rules, the duo have made an experimental record that expands the very definition of the word, melding and mixing many genres at once. If you’re looking for an easy-going, chill listen, this just might be for you. There are some sonic challenges, but the duo have honed their sound so well, that despite some jarring moments, the record is damn near perfect.