Erica Eso: 129 Dreamless GMG (NNA Tapes, 2018)

August 31, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Erica Eso: 129 Dreamless GMG

Erica Eso are a Brooklyn-based group who write experimental pop songs which generally sound breezy and groovable, even chilled out, yet they’re far from conventional or straightforward. Lead vocalist and composer Weston Minissali is also in Cloud Becomes Your Hand, a group known for cartoonish, Zappa-like prog-pop, and while it’s easy to recognize similarities in both band’s approaches, Erica Eso are far more in tune with radio-ready pop and R&B, and generally sound more polished and accessible… to an extent. The harmony-heavy “Gun-Metal Grey” could be mistaken for a chillwave track, if not for the showers of mutant sax and subtle rhythmic trickery. “Fire Is The Mouth” has a motorik beat which speeds up at the beginning, as well as heaps of unexpected guitar noise (courtesy of Delicate Steve). “Love-Gun” is much calmer, with echoing-thought duet vocals (including a momentary reference to eccojam favorite “Too Little Too Late” by Jojo). The two-part “Mirror Stage” is a total departure into abstract weightlessness, with sporadic electronic drums clattering around detached guitar howls. “Vaccination Free” inhabits similar territory, except it’s accompanied by a robotic choir, which at one point describes the group’s sound as “femmed-out microtonal synth-pop”. “House That’s Always Burning” ends this short album with another futuristic hyper-pop gem, blending proggy arrangements with neon synths and radio-ready vocals courtesy of Angelica Bess (recent collaborator with Chrome Sparks, Giraffage, Machinedrum, etc).

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