Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Alex Calder - Strange Dreams (2014)

Sometimes I enjoy a record so much that I forget that I was going to write about it. Or sometimes it's not that I forget, but that I delay writing anything because no words seem to do the music justice.

A combination of the two has kept me from sharing Alex Calder's "Strange Dreams" for nearly a month now.

Alex Calder is a Canadian songwriter out of Montreal that makes curious and bewitching indie-psych songs. It's pop without sugar. It follow conventional formulas but the production and melodies are creative without being too colorful. A few years back he was the drummer of a great Canadian band out of Vancouver called Makeout Videotape, which also featured current Pitchfork indie darling, Mac Demarco. There are stylistic similarities in the production of "Strange Dreams" and Demarco's output, and both songwriters have releases on Brooklyn's excellent Captured Tracks. This makes me think think one or the other is involved with one or the others solo stuff... or maybe, JUST MAYBE, they're the same fucking person.

If only we had indie rock conspiracies.

Anyone familiar with Demarco's records will hear what I mean. There's a pervading warble... a bending in and out of tune.. the kind of warping that happens to cassette tapes that have been in a moist basement for 15 years. This slightly detuned effect gives the music a strange and dreamlike quality. So... great name for this release.

Psychedelic bedroom pop with an unsettling quality. "Strange Dreams" is a perfect records for days so hot and humid that your brain begins to denature and you become one with your clothing.

10,000 stars.

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