Alright, first-off, Reader, we wholeheartedly apologize for being a bit absent in your lives of late. As you well know, we partook in the magical, all-you-can-eat-with-your-ears musical buffet that is South by Southwest. And yes, as you can tell by our food-related analogy (which you KNOW we hate), we’re out of practice with this whole blogging thing.
Ew. Eating with your ears? Who ARE we?
But, to continue on the ill-advised analogy of music as food, we are fucking stuffed, dudes. Seriously. I know we saw far fewer bands than many others in Austin a couple weeks ago, but we gorged ourselves on bands that week, taking in, I think, one bajillion shows? …before hitting our favorite bars and restaurants. (PS—free day shows are the BEST when you’re in your mid-thirties)
But, in an effort to cleanse ourselves of the lovely, rich greasiness that was SXSW (I swear, I’ll stop after this), today we hold high a band that was absent from the South by roster and one we’ve been admiring from afar a while now—that being the dreamy Canadian duo, Memoryhouse.
I’ll start by saying that I’m going to—right off the bat—steer to the side of slapping the label of dream pop on the band, for two reasons. First, because I appreciate their effort to pull in much more involved melodies, both in terms of clear, intelligible vocals and in terms of guitar- and classically string-based melodies that, rather than wash out, come to the forefront as gentle, crystalline hooks. Second, because I admire the origins of the band, which seem to be more that of an intimate artists collective than a traditional tour-record-hire-a-manger style band. As Evan Abeele (music) and Denise Nouvion (vocals + visuals) put it on their site:
“Memoryhouse didn’t actually set out to be a band. It took form as a collaborative project meant to serve as an artistic outlet for composer Evan Abeele and photographer Denise Nouvion. Evan, a dedicated student of classical music and a pop-music encyclopedist, intended Memoryhouse to be a multimedia art project, pairing his instrumental compositions with Denise’s photographs and short films. Combining their musical and visual artwork seemed the most promising, and least unhealthy, strategy for battling archetypal adolescent angst worsened by the paralyzing effects of Canadian winter. What they wanted was to test ways to blur the boundaries between genres, to weave a synthesis of music and photography. As Denise explains their collaborative cross-media process, ‘we start with photos that we want to write around, to give us some kind of aesthetic grounding.'”
As visual designers who love music, we’ve got to say, that shit’s fucking awesome. And Nouvion’s ethereal, beautiful images are right up our alley. Oh, and the music’s pretty bad-ass too. More catchy and fun in their upbeat moments and more sonically sincere and meaningful in their sombre moments, this band is far from ‘just another dream pop band.’ But, as always, we trust you not to trust us, Reader—listen to this week’s song of the week, “The Kids Were Wrong,” for yourself. And, for both the full-album and a full-audio-visual experience, check out Nouvion’s drifting, beautiful video accompaniment for their appropriately named debut full-length, The Slideshow Effect—out now in various real-life and digital formats via Sub Pop and, of course, through the ever-present, ever-watching iTunes. Like what you hear but feeling broke? Scroll halfway down their site and you can signup for their newsletter to receive the single, “Walk with Me,” sin dinero. That’s right. I’m taking spanish. Comiendo entra la gan a. Y ahora, un poco de belleza.
All imagery, courtesy of Denise Nouvion.