- by Ljubinko Zivkovic Release Date:2017-04-28 Label: Dalliance
This started out as a pleasant surprise. Instead of getting a copy of this album as some sort of stream or download, the postman delivered the resurgent vinyl (I had to scramble for a turntable) with a big 4AD tape over the packaging. It still feels good when you have a piece of music that you can not only listen to (including those obligatory clips and pops here and there, even if the vinyl is brand new) but can hold in your hands.
While getting back to the album, I have to get back to that 4AD logo. “I Go Missing In My Sleep” is actually out on Dalliance Recordings. But in which manner does this album fit into something that a few decades ago got the name “4AD sound”, and does such a sound exist? Usually, when somebody talks about 4AD, the first names that come up to mind are the late Eighties early Nineties artists like Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil conglomerate, and the still in action term, shoegazers. But then, where do bands like The Pixies or some of the current bands on the label like Deerhunter or Gang Gang Dance fit in?
But let us get back to the NYC trio Wilsen. If you stick to the set idea of what a 4AD band should be like, the answer is yes, they do fit in, in something you can call a modernized way, a 4AD sound that is brought to the 21st Century. And let us finish with questions - so what?
You see, I’m a fan of that sound modernized or not, and even if we go beyond a certain cliche which Wilsen do not deserve, this is a very good debut (Wilsen have previously issued two EP’s). The band's sound is carried through by singer/composer/lyricist Tamsin Wilson, who yes, has that perfect 4AD voice. But beyond that, her compositional and lyrical skills are a match. Wilsen’s sound is sparse and full at the same time - the embellishing electronics never overpower but complement and accentuate. There’s enough music to let Tamsin’s voice and lyrics shine, and while the whole album is more about atmosphere than a killer tune, she can definitely deliver a lyrical punchline, like when at one moment the music stops and Tamsin proclaims in a soft and cool voice: “I told you never to trust me”.
It would be overkill to say that Wilsen came up with a brilliant album, they still have to get there. But, on the other hand, this is a perfect album to play when the weather is good enough that you can keep your windows open at (to use one of the song titles here) Dusk. Just watch out that you don’t go missing in your sleep.