Dead Leaf Echo do the shoegaze thing really well. They also do 80s alternative really well. On their new EP, aptly titled true.deep.sleeper they conjure visions of Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, and a goth-ish romanticism that though no new ground is being broken the music pulls you in and makes you long for that high school crush you had when you were 16.
Title track “true.deep.sleeper” brings to mind Disintegration-era Cure with a Cocteau Twins finish. The heavy reverb and wah-wah guitar give the song a swirling motion and a hallucinogenic glee you can’t help but get sucked into. Drummer Kevin K. really pulls the track together with his classic hyper-drive UK dance beat as the guitar and keys spin into a drugged frenzy. “so.wrong” makes me feel I’m back in 1986 and Disintegration is playing on my parent’s car stereo. This song is all joyful gloom and hazy anticipation.
Dead Leaf Echo have been leading the charge along with other bands such as Young Prisms, Anne, and a good portion of the Captured Tracks roster to get folks to look back kindly on that time in the late 80s and early 90s when the UK was cultivating what we now know as the shoegaze movement. Bands like Chapterhouse, Ride, My Bloody Valentine, and Lush as well as American bands Medicine and Half String created a sonic swirl that can’t be denied even today. Dead Leaf Echo recreate that magic and put their own unique spin on the genre. “blind.island” is a short, slightly psychedelic interlude before “heaven.sent.sleeper” finishes the EP out. It’s a slow drop into the abyss. Voices drip down the walls as you ride into the depths on a steady bass line. As an added bonus the track is a collaboration with Lansing, Michigan’s dream pop veterans Auburn Lull. It’s a track you can just melt into.
Dead Leaf Echo continue to make solid shoegaze and dream pop. This time around the production is as solid as ever with Monte Vallier(The Soft Moon and Weekend) mixing the album to its fullest potential. Make sure you head over to their Soundcloud page and give this excellent EP a listen. Headphones are preferable, but not necessary. Just play it loud.
7.8 out of 10