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[put that shit on the list] New Memoryhouse album is Memorable, not very house-y


photo by Vanessa Heins

The Slideshow Effect, the new album from epically-Canadian (probably) blogwavers MEMORYHOUSE -- whose title is a reference to how much slideshow galleries on websites make me want to [x] the fuck out of there and smash the first person I see in the tits -- comes out today on Sub Pop. [Editor's note: read Liz Pelly's Off The Record review.]

And like everything else on the internet, it's free for you to listen to here on SoundCloud because you hate art and creativity you ungrateful little shits. I'm too sick today to write anything about it at length (OR AM I?), so let's just assume it's really pretty and frail and gossamer-like, and sounds like a sundress swishing in the faded sunlight.

Check out the video for "The Kids Were Wrong" here. Does it make you wistful for your own wasted youth? Does it make you sad to think about how you're going to die someday? Maybe even today. Does it make you feel like you're twenty damn years old again and holding hands with someone wearing a similar style of coat as you on the way to get tea is the axis upon which the entirety of firmament rests? It does.

Here's what Sub Pop says about the record:

The new album is called The Slideshow Effect and its title speaks to what hasn’t changed for Memoryhouse: their continuing interest in the synthesis of the aural and the visual. It refers to the photographic/cinematic technique of zooming and panning to animate still images, often used in documentary film making to give movement to archival photographs. The 10-track album, produced by Abeele, with assistance from friend, collaborator, and occasional Memoryhouse bassist Barzin Hassani Rad, finds Memoryhouse heading toward a new clarity in composition as well as sound; a more organic direction for artists who are, in their own words, transitioning from a “bedroom recording project” into a fully realized band."

That sounds suspiciously like what someone who is a character in a Memoryhouse song would say about a Memoryhouse song actually.

Here's what I said about their last record when I interviewed them for the Phoenix:

Sifting through music discs for literary references can often bear scant fruit. Many bands try to borrow some fleeting authorial gravitas, but rarer is the outfit whose songs actually echo the voice of a given author in musical steps that mimic the page. Young writers are taught to copy out the works of their influences by hand; bands play covers. It enables them to inhabit the space of their predecessors. That's essentially what minimalist dream-pop outfit Memoryhouse have done with Virginia Woolf, translating her language into their own analogous musical forms.

The Ontario duo's most recent release, The Years EP (Danger Village), takes its title from Woolf's temporally experimental novel. Their "To the Lighthouse" and "The Waves" borrow accordingly. The songs here — small-scale sketches of shifting perspective, overlapping voices, and stream-of-conscious somnolence — are built with little more than reverberating guitar, clouds of æthereal static, and singer Denise Nouvion's washed-out exhalations. Woolf herself similarly appealed to the ear: "The wave paused, and then drew out again, sighing like a sleeper whose breath comes and goes unconsciously."

That sounds suspicously like what someone who really likes Memoryhouse, (and the smell of his own farts), would write.
 
This was originally posted today on Put That Shit On The List. In addition to that cash-cow blog, Luke O'Neil also writes about music for the Boston Phoenix.
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