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2011/05/16 / monteurhulot

EP // Princesse (Demo)

“The Living, The Dead, The Zombie,” the first of three songs on this pleasingly rough and very promising demo produced by a duo from a suburb of Lyon, comes off at first as being very regular chillwave (the band seems to embrace the term) leading with Raymond Scott bloops, plaintive-edged bedroom-surf guitar lines, sunglint-on-seafoam synth presence and comfortable indistinct digital bass drum. Even if very much of the moment, it’s still a very well constructed piece, with more clarity and intent in the fuzzy vocals than many of the dispassionate ooh and aah prevalent in chillwave.

Things really click as soon as “After the Sun” begins, those guitar lines, which would probably be called “hypnogogic” if this was a Pitchfork review, matched with a superb marimba loop (and later marimba solo) suddenly clarifying their music as an earthier, Earthier take on precise Continental pop music (The Whitest Boy Alive, Bodi Bill, even Phoenix, dare I speak their name) combined with the sound of spacey American ensembles (Real Estate, Emeralds) it’s lo-fi grit allowing Princesse to escape the slick slide to heartless distance that at times threatens the former tendency, as good as much of it is, and bring more immediate song-writing to the waviness of the latter. “After the Sun” is a stunner, chasing after Stephen Steinbrink’s “It’s Home/Make My Nest” for the title of  Best Mallet-Driven Indie Pop Song, 2011.

Closing number “Candy Store” expounds on the synthesis laid out on the middle track, marrying a hooky chorus to jammier sections, and certainly leaving one hoping to hear more.

Oh, and the fellows seem to have something of a sense of humour (always a plus), describing their work as “delicate music for sensitive people who like to party and to sleep with sensitive and delicate musicians,” and thanking “the public transports and their contempt of the suburb (we would had never listened to so much music if we had never spent so much time in the subways and the bus and the trams).”

And yes, per usual, it’s a free download.


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