reviewed by Chris Matei
Let’s start with that name: Old Confetti! The label on the tin of this Vancouver-based three piece suggests bright, shimmery moments of hazed out bliss that have been pulled down by the inevitable draw of gravity, left to be swept up by someone else at the end of the high-school dance.
This is not an altogether inappropriate metaphor for the music to be found on Another Meal, an EP that plays like a split set of beautifully downcast singles from its twin vocalists/songwriters Angela Yen and Mike Andersen.
The former writes tunes that tug at all your favourite girl-group pop heartstrings, but the makeup is smeared and the prom ballad gets cut through with washed out fuzz and cascaded reverb. “Just Because” is an upside-down unrequited-love song with a wicked streak: “Just because I smile, doesn’t mean ‘stay a while,'” Yen cautions: “You want a girl you can feel… but I can’t say you’re on my mind.” Album closer “James Song” is the highlight of this short collection, a rippling, raw and emotional ballad that blooms into hazy fractured glare from the disco lights.
Mike Andersen’s pair of songs work on similarly cynical and off-kilter interpretations of classic sounds (almost in the vein of Dan Bejar), but refract Beach Boys influences, rough hewn proto punk, and slacker-pop ideas through a sloshed, Mac DeMarco-style filter. This adoption of a wallflower’s approach to what, in the hands of a more typical retro-revivalist-garage type band, might be a rowdy good time, is best exemplified as he muses “Crowdsurfing!! I think I’ll pass…” on the EP’s opening track.
This is a thoughtful, well-crafted suite of tunes that is, unfortunately, marred just slightly by some odd production decisions (such as a drum mix that seems far too pointed and forward at times.) Both songwriters contribute material that is whip-smart, but not the keen kind of smart that sits at the front of the class: the kind that’s known the darker realities and learned how to get through them.
Top Tracks: “James Song”, “Just Because”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)