A stunning self-titled debut from United Sounds of Joy. Both artists originally worked together in Dream City Film Club, but as a duo make a downbeat dream-pop with experimental tendencies hidden in catchy hooks. A really lovely slice of psychedelic noir powered by sultry vocals and elegant arrangements.
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 16 March 2016
With that name I couldn’t help be reminded of 90s kraut poppers Electric Sound of Joy but these guys in fact have a background in unclassifiable '90s rock band Dream City Film Club. Both members wear sunglasses. Fact.
Opener 'Seams of Sorrow’ starts out with gloriously filmic synths and vocals that sound remarkably like those David Bowie used on his ‘Blackstar’ swansong. It’s a gorgeous track with a few nods in David Sylvian's direction but it’s very disconcerting. Please do not listen to on your own at night. ‘Sun That Hides a Darker Star’ is similarly soundtrack-like and reminds me of some of the more Pink Floyd-ish bits of Billy Mackenzie’s later work. Generally the sounds are soft and drifting but ‘Dust Veil’ is harder edged with spoken word vocals and harsh guitars. ‘She Sets the Stars in Motion’ uses Brian Eno-like guitar textures topped off with a Bryan Ferry quiver, setting into motion the thought process of what would have happened if Brian Eno had produced Roxy Music's ‘Avalon’.
No good has ever come from bluesy vocals and ‘Queen of Seven Dials’ is no different but there are some gorgeous textures at work in this album and despite one or two Rea-isms I’m enjoying large chunks of it. Imagine a less experimental Scott Walker perhaps, or a Tindersticks with an interest in electronics.
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