Memory Tapes Player Piano

Memory Tapes Player Piano
Dayve Hawk spent much of 2009 in transition. After the dissolution of his old band, Hail Social, Hawk released music under a number of different guises. But the success of Seek Magic (his debut as Memory Tapes) convinced him to stick with both the name and the spacey electronic sound. Player Piano finds Hawk ditching any notion that he'd continue toiling around the chillwave ghetto and embracing pop. "Psychedelic girl-group music" is how he described the record prior to its release. And while Player Piano boasts neither the swirling haze nor the rich harmonies that description promises, it does feature some loopy, go-for-the-throat melodies and swinging rhythms. On Seek Magic, Hawk hid behind the walls of sound he created, but on Player Piano, he puts himself front and centre, vocally, and with some aggressive instrumentation – check out the decidedly un-chill guitar solo on "Today is Our Life." However, these flashes of brilliance are tempered by duller moments that are easily forgotten. Player Piano is a less consistent record than its predecessor, and while its lows aren't complete duds, its highs are as thrilling as they come. (Carpark)