Death and Vanilla: Flicker (Fire) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Death and Vanilla

Flicker

Fire

Mar 20, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


It’s not easy these days to distinguish yourselves from a crowded field of talented dream pop artists, but Swedish outfit Death and Vanilla have been ardently doing just that since the release of their self-titled debut in 2012. Five albums later, this sound has evolved into a marvelous mix of sublime dreaminess and smart atmospheric pop-rock, artistically expressed through the nine songs on their new album, Flicker.

It’s a unique sound that begs comparisons with the sultry and stylish creativity of Still Corners and Chromatics yet also somehow eschews these parallels. On Flicker’s best, Death and Vanilla transport the listener to a colorful dreamland where crafty bass lines, swirling keyboards, and dub-like guitars create a hypnotic vibe that is as beautiful as it is wistful.

Outstanding tracks such as opener “Out For Magic,” single “Find Another Illusion,” and the slow to unfurl “Looking Glass” and “Fearless,” are atmospheric, lushly layered, and polished auditory panoramas in pop song profiles. They are glossy yet mysterious electronic pop infused with Krautrock’s experimentalism and ambient’s eclecticism, and whose vocals add a ghostly allure.

A few songs on Flicker show off Death and Vanilla’s experimental side and their willingness to tweak their sound. “Baby Snakes,” “Perpetuum Mobile,” and “Transparent Things” are slower, more pensive tracks with less structure and more spooky atmospherics with equally mesmerizing vocals.

Overall, Flicker is an excellent, if not totally innovative, album of crafty atmospheric dream-pop that is rich and full with upbeat melodies amid moody yet clever arrangements that may try some listener’s patience as the songs’ allure are not rapidly revealed. It may take a few spins before cozying up to the hazy charming magnetism that is Death and Vanilla. (www.firerecords.com/artists/death-and-vanilla/)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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