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2010/09/24 / monteurhulot

ALBUM // My Friend Wallis – When The Blue Turned Yellow

In 2010, the internet, and the site bandcamp in particular, is awash in the lo-fi pop experimentation, usually covered in guitar haze or synth washes and wavering beats and chopped, far-away vocals. One may as well call this music chillwave. Rarely is it unpleasant, sometimes it is good, but taken as a whole this deluge can have a overwhelming stylistic homogeneity. There are gems to be found, though, and one of them came this summer from a Vancouverite who records under the name My Friend Wallis, making what I’m tempted to call “bedroom afro-pop.” That would somewhat inaccurate – the clean guitar lines have a bit of shimmer on them, and the rhythms, while they might be slightly reminiscent of Congolese soukous, have more in common with the ramshackle afro-beat and reggae of Northwest projects like Adrian Orange & Her Band, or the refracted island tropicalism of El Guincho (whose new album is excellent, by the way.) Opener “In The Winter,” instead of tackles the themes of wanting to go/going to/being on/ the beach through the filter of being in the wrong season entirely; the air of slight regret, when combined with the song’s guitar bounce, might also remind one of Thao With The Get Down Stay Down. With only six songs after, When The Blue Turned Yellow is more of a long EP, but I count it among the Summer of Chillwave’s best, and most diverse, examples of guitar pop.

It’s available for streaming and free download at My Friend Wallis’s bandcamp, where two newer songs also live.

t.

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