Reverie Sound Revue - Rip the Universe

“As curious as it seems/ I still smile while enjoying the scene.”

Standing on the Place de la Concorde in late January is a seventeen year-old girl, wrapped inadequately against the Parisian chill. She’s wearing a black leather pencil skirt and new kitten heels. Her lips are red, her hands are tight fists in her pockets, and her jaw is clenched to keep from crying.

By her side is another girl – a girl she considered a friend until barely half an hour ago, when her tongue unwound with alcohol. Looking back, she’ll recognize that the chasm opened up earlier that night; the moment a man with stubble that tickled her ear looked past one to the other, but then, in the moment, the change seemed swift and sudden.

Because the other girl is telling her precisely where her numerous faults lie. She is both too much, and not enough, in every possible way.

The girl in her new shoes doesn’t yet know that angry words reveal more about the speaker than the recipient, and that this early morning will be significant only on a flickering screen somewhere in the future. She hasn’t even heard this song, but it’s for her nonetheless. It holds the quiet calm of equilibrium; the place where each new strike can be absorbed without shaking, every blow shrugged away as the distinct episodes that they are. Reverie is the right word – a drift of wistful regret; the lilt of chords; scattering cymbal. Rise and falls reined in to a steady frequency.

But this girl is still unsteady, and so up the Champs Elysees she walks, past the dignified iron gates of foreign diplomats, past the bare winter trees strewn with stars, past the lone couples insulated against the winds with nothing but intimacy. And all the time, the diatribe beside her continues.

Not enough. Never enough. Always too much.

Don’t worry about her. She’ll be just fine. Already a contrary voice is whispering in her head, reminding her that maybe it’s not her. Maybe it’s them. Maybe this is always more about them. See how she smothers a rebellious smile as the blonde drips with false sympathy?

She’ll be just fine.

The rest of the material from the now-defunct band is available for free download at a fansite, or to buy from New Music Canada
If you aren’t yet swayed, try Cascade


Nelly Furtado - Maneater

“She’s a maneater/ Make you work hard/ Make you spend hard/ Make you want all/ All her love.”

What’s this? I cry, falling on the shiny, new aural package as if I can’t quite believe it’s not a mirage sent to taunt my pop-starved mind. Is the drought over? Is there a new track worth talking about for its own sake and not the various hi-jinx of tabloid thrum? Say it’s so!

Hyperbole is necessary, you have to understand. How long I’ve waited for something to break the tedium; month after month of old playlists, good pop – old pop – until even a blur of Robyn and the Veronicas and JC Chasez and OKGo and the TeenPeople Hollywood spreads start to loose their sparkling lustre. And now, just when I was loosing all faith in the pop gods, here they offer something to inspire and excite, to get me pulled into the simple arrangement and wonder at that perfect construction. Bless you, Nelly! Be praised, Timbaland!

Because hell,this is worth some attention. From the opening vocal harmony, heralding with ominous subtlety then suddenly exploding into vivid petrol technicolour with that drive of synth, it’s something. Nelly’s voice turning on that knife edge into sleazy scrawl, so the chorus of fuller sound and purer notes is unexpected but a perfect fit. Tumbling harmonies layered into a melody with it’s own force, more carefully constructed, delicate even, with that same bubble of beats and occasional cymbal burst, but new electro stardust dropping in – just a touch, the neon sprinkle pulling you from an opposite direction to the low baritone hum so you rise and fall with the breath of the main pitch.

And back to that basic synth drive, because it’s the gravity around which all else revolves. Inexorable force of beat and bass, dirtied and low so her vocals drift just a fraction above the gutter. Seamless to the end.