Beyond Desire by Dead Leaf EchoRelease date: October 13, 2017
Label: Papercup Records
NY’s Dead Leaf Echo has long been a fixture on the dream pop/shoegaze scene. This new record, produced by legendary My Bloody Valentine engineer Guy Fixsen and Jorge Elbrecht (Ariel Pink, No Joy), is less accessible than some of their earlier material. Entry points include ‘Desire’ followed by ‘Temple’ a noise pop tune that bristles with punk spirit and echoes Sonic Youth in parts.
‘Strawberry Skin’ is another pretty song, but it echoes the feel of ‘Temple’ and doesn’t stand out much. ‘Lemonheart’ is shimmering and densely textured, more akin to their older material than some of these other songs. ‘Beyond Desire’ is a stunning but slow, spacey ride, the kind of tune Slowdive is known for. It’s miles above the other songs in my estimation, and I wish Ana would sing more often (I say the same thing about Slowdive and Rachel Goswell).
‘Cloudancing’ is noteworthy, swaddled in gauzy layers, slightly mysterious vocals, and overall a really good song. ‘It’s Starting to Happen’ is the lengthy final song, and there are some majestic moments, but I think a shorter version would have worked just as well.
In summary, this is an album that will appeal to existing DLE fans and may draw in new listeners who know about the band but may not have checked them out in the past.