Friday, February 14, 2014

REVIEW: Crushed Stars - Farewell Young Lovers

Farewell Young Lovers is the newest album from Dallas-based dream pop band Crushed Stars. In case you're not familiar with them, Crushed Stars is multi-instrumentalist Todd Gautreau along with drummer Jeff Ryan (War on Drugs, Baptist Generals). Known as a studio-only band, Gautreau has made no secret about his desire to build a musical following without having to hit the road... and with music this good, he's on the right track. I hear hints of another Texas outfit, American Analog Set, in spots... but in others, the influences of Jesus & Mary Chain and Echo & the Bunnymen are apparent. You may hear other influences of a similar vintage. The music is an engaging combination of treated guitars, synths (even a theremin) and both quiet dream pop and upbeat dance rhythms.

My favorites are the more upbeat tracks, like "Flowerbomb":

And in a similar vein, if a bit more aggressive, "Haters":

But there are quieter songs, like the beautiful, hushed "Fly", and "Poppies" which is a longish, subtle instrumental. Not only do they demonstrate Crushed Stars' facility with all types of music, they work very well to keep the album from sounding the same, and wearing out its welcome. The longest track, "It Happens Every Time", is pure 80's guitar pop, reminiscent, to me, of that 80's generation of Roxy Music/Eno descendants like New Order, The Cure and the ones mentioned above. It's a very well-done album with a compelling variety of sounds, all pulled together by Gautreau's vocals.

Crushed Stars website

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