Cerise - Smoke Screen Dreams

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2016-06-30

L.A. singer/songwriter Cerise’s debut album occupies that same lazy, hazy atmosphere at Hope Sandoval’s contributions to Mazzy Star and The Warm Intentions. Breathy, floating vocals bounce off the walls on the title track, tippy toing around jangly guitars in true Paisley Underground fashion. ‘Shades In Shade’ suggests a promising new entry in the mopey, dope-y mumblecore scene – I think I hallucinated the ghost of Nico nodding off over in the corner.

Cerise’s somnambulist delivery continues on the dreamy ‘You Like Night’, but this one-dimensional tone throughout the album is a small deterrent that may turn off some listeners. There’s a poetical, Patti Smith-type aura to ’Mourning Birds’, and ‘St. Nick’ has a tribal vibe to compliment its soothing sheen. Kinda reminded me of Nirvana’s version of ‘Lake of Fire’ in places.

All told, a pleasant diversion from workaday drudgery, but a tad more variety and energy in the vocals and arrangements (and a little less techno-gloss in the production and drumming – cf., ‘’Waiting On Fading’, ‘It’s Not Raining’) will improve matters considerably next time around. The intimate romanticism of closer ‘Lay Low’ is a step in the right direction.

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