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Dead Leaf Echo

Beyond Desire

Moon Sounds Records // Paper Cup Music

Feb 14, 2018 Dead Leaf Echo Bookmark and Share

Brooklyn Dead Leaf Echo’s exist in a netherworld of the past, present, and future. Their signifiers are often recognizable—classic shoegaze such as Lush, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, and Ride, but they bring esoteric indie-pop into their mix, with a love for the likes of Versus, Luna, and countless forgotten NYC ‘90s bands. It’s fitting that their second LP Beyond Desire is something of a tribute to the overlooked, the bands that had the talent to make it but perhaps just didn’t have the stars align on their sides. Whatever prism you want to view this through, Beyond Desire is a stunning achievement, rife with rage, beauty and resigned equanimity.

Singer/guitarist LG Galleon’s guitars squall and twist in all the right places, indebted as equally to Pale Saints as Swervedriver, while singer/guitarist Ana Breton is the band’s secret weapon, her softly cooling vocals leavening much of Galleon’s bomast, providing the band with an arresting push/pull dynamic. Songs such as “Strawberry Skin,” “Lemonheart,” and “Desire” sound as home in 2018 as they would’ve in 1993, a true testament to the band’s originality and purity.

The rhythm section of drummer Kevin Kahawai and bassist Steve Schwadron provide restraint when necessary and bombast when required, a necessary ingredient in the band’s volatile world. And this volatility often nods to attaining a world “beyond desire.” Quixotic, perhaps, but it will remind you of a time when you believe it existed. These are not avaracious songs or musicians. They are the “beautiful losers,” nodding to forgotten bands, and even the arcane likes of Harold Smith of Twin Peaks, the lost, doomed soul from the first incarnation of the series. Our culture may not recognize them, but these expressions of artistic purity do not exist in a vacuum. They just take attention spans and seeking out, a willingness to be taken outside of one’s comfort zone, and reverence for the sacrifices these artusts make, which aren’t easy. Dead Leaf Echo come from this ilk, and are well worth our collective investment. They create for the most important audience of all, themselves, with an invitation for anyone to share in their creations. Thankfully, they aren’t exlusive. It’s a world both unnerving and comforting to bear witness to, with every aspect of their presentation valuing art over crass commoditification, something all can learn from in 2018. (

Author rating: 8/10

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