Ablebody - Adult Contemporaries

by Rob Taylor Rating:8 Release Date:2016-10-14

Ablebody’s Adult Contemporaries is an unashamed nod to the woozy days of 1970's Californian pop, seamlessly blended with synth-driven indie modernism. Well, relative modernism anyway. The cupboard door isn’t bolted shut on the 70s and 80s just yet. Remove the moth balls from those loose-fitting tailored pants and starched linen shirts, and take a stroll through the muggy haze of Ablebody’s retro dream-pop. The pastel hues are faded in nature, like an old polaroid snapshot. The music straddling the boundary between lachrymose and strident. Sung by someone with an intelligent observance of life.

What distinguishes Ablebody, apart from the shimmering pop writing, is the judicious guitar work, a little bit of reverb here, an abbreviated melody there, a vocal sighing connoting passing regret rather than insufferable wallowing. The kind of music that inculcates the senses, forges a memory. The vocal style, especially on songs like ‘Powder Blue’ reminding me of Morrissey. How each line, each phrase brings a yearning, a sustained note.

Christopher and Anton Hochheim (formerly tour members of Pains of Being Pure at Heart) manage to keep the saccharine levels at a minimum, retaining just the right level of sparkiness in their perfectly honed gossamer pop. The prettiness and grandeur that Ablebody bring to the table isn’t one-dimensional. One can imagine these songs working brilliantly amped up on the festival stage. The songs are robust enough to handle augmentation and volume.

More aperitif than cocktail, Adult Contemporaries appeals to those, like me, who like a dry twist to their easy listening pop.   

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