Published Jun 02, 2016This is the eighth release from Elvis Depressedly duo Mathew Lee Cothran and Delaney Mills, and it's essentially a split with themselves; the LP combines a fan favourite previous release — the original Holo Pleasures EP was released in April 2013 and quickly became a cult classic — with six fresh tunes.
Holo Pleasures / California Dreamin' is composed of 12 short, fuzzy indie pop songs that vary wildly: there are downers, and there are uppers. At times, Elvis Depressedly sound like the Front Bottoms underwater; at others, they sound doped up on sleeping pills. It's certainly not for everyone, but fans of the genre will be elated by the combination of old and new.
"Okay" is a sunny pop song blurred by tinges of anxiety, "Inside You" overlays delightful fuzz with a jangling guitar riff and lighthearted cymbal play and "Teeth," with its wavy vocals, plays out like a younger version of the Cure, complete with synthesizer and steady tom hits. On the hazier side of this is "Pepsi/Coke Suicide," a song so chill you may feel your legs start to fall asleep, while "Weird Honey" has a nostalgic sound from both the guitar and drum parts, with short fret slides hinting at a jam band/blues feel. It concludes with a cool solo that sounds like the sun shining through a rainstorm. The most eclectic of the bunch, "Thinning Out" boasts what sounds like a flanged violin, a strange yet familiar sound that mingles with the angelic choral vibe in the vocal part and synth tones at the end to form a futuristic folk tune.
"Angel Cum Clean" marks the beginning of the newer material, and a more mature sound definitely gives the feeling that time has passed between the two halves. The song sounds heavily drug-induced, and pounding drums complements the glam rock vibe. Elsewhere, "Slip" has a catchy melody that recurs throughout, sounding like heavily digitized horns playing a melting James Bond theme, while "Holo Pleasures (California Dreamin')" conveys a sense of calm triumph through confident vocals and minimalistic instrumentals. Closing track "Up In The Air" feels like trying to make your body dance for one more song, even though you're already exhausted. It's a quietly joyful song that gives Holo Pleasures / California Dreamin' a sense of aural closure. (Run For Cover)