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Posted November 16, 2012 by Mike Mineo in Dream-Pop + Shoegaze
 
 

MP3: Emotional – “Sonneta De Convertable”

If there’s one thing to ask of Emotional’s Brian Wakefield, it would be to turn down his effects on some tracks. That is not exactly a criticism; I just find Wakefield’s beautiful songwriting stunning enough to prevail without heavy reverb and other psych-rock effects. His new album, Feeling, is an echo-laden presentation of his dream-pop and space-rock tendencies, with flashes of garage-rock on more aggressive guitar tracks like “I Hate the Sun” and “The One That Got Away”. It’s a lofty sound for such a DIY project, but Wakefield’s knack for vintage-sounding production hits home, even if the beauty remains understated on efforts like “Grass to Pass The Time” and “The One That Got Away” due to prominent reverb and distortion. These things are easily altered with more resources, though. The DIY approach enables Wakefield to play with elements like shoegaze. Feeling is a collection of apt infusions, to say the least.

Baby I’m So Strange” is one of my favorite tracks on Feeling; it’s one of the clearest examples of Wakefield’s songwriting talents. Although reliant on a tinny guitar lead, placid rhythm guitar, and a drum machine, Wakefield’s melodic delivery and clever arrangements provide a sound akin to the nasally alt-rock of The Auteurs, with a similar touch of jangle-pop and dark wit. In slight contrast, the late-night synth-pop crawl of “Sonneta De Convertable” resembles Ariel Pink, James Ferraro, and other bringers of lo-fi pop nostalgia. Wakefield’s vocals reach exasperated quivers, which vibe well here on a track incorporating anxious love with late-night driving. “Drivin’ in your convertible, top down, I feel a lack of control” Wakefield croons. “You say that you know me well, but you only take me inbound (?) / I’m not sure if your intentions are pure.” It’s an excellent track, that produces a wildly original and engrossing atmosphere thanks to its bouncy bass and ambient stretches of guitar. It’s one of many successes on Feeling. Stream it below:

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Mike Mineo

 
I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound. I used to write for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].