Death and Vanilla - Are You A Dreamer? - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Death and Vanilla - Are You A Dreamer?

by Jeff Penczak Rating:9 Release Date:2019-05-10
Death and Vanilla - Are You A Dreamer?
Death and Vanilla - Are You A Dreamer?

Gimmicky triangular artwork aside, the latest from the Swedish trio follows on from several faux/imagined soundtracks recorded live in accompaniment to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s Vampyr (2013) and Roman Polanski’s The Tenant (2018). The cinematic vibe of those works permeates their fifth (and best) album, which continues to incorporate the floating melodies, shoegazy production, and ethereal vocals of Marleen Nilsson into a post-Twin Peaks, Badalamenti/Julee Cruise-inhabited dream world of danceable electronica, romantic library music, and lemon chiffon grooves.

Woozy, warbly wah-wahs flicker around Nilsson’s soft vocals in ‘Let’s Never Leave Here’ and you’ll want to second that emotion. ‘Mercier’ sways to and fro, the better to mix that martini in your hand, while synths swirl around your head, creating increasing doses of giddy elation. ‘Eye Bath’ is (or should be) the lead single, capturing their earlier dance styles while continuing to pile on hallucinogenic beats reminiscent of Kraftwerk’s disco phase (e.g., ‘The Model’, ‘Showroom Dummies’), and ‘Nothing Is Real’ keeps the pleasant vibes cascading over your body like getting caught in a warm shower on a Summer day. It all slowly fades into hypnotic oblivion with the closing duo ‘Vespertine’ and ‘Wallpaper Pattern’, which admittedly sound like one long ten minute track segmented in half for ultimate enjoyment.

Tracks flow seamlessly into each other in a slow-motion dream from which you’ll never want to awaken. Except to turn the record over and start again.

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