Park Avenue Music
Most of the releases that I've heard thusfar on the Clairecords label have at least had one foot in the shoegazer/dreampop pool, and it's because of that that this newest EP (their second release overall) by Park Avenue Music caught me off guard. Highly melodic and slightly glitchy, it reminds me more of something that I might find on the Morr Music or Audio Dregs label. Mixing very nice programming of lush electronics with soft, breathy female vocals, it manages to sound somewhat like several different things (one could reference Mum, Bjork, and others), without really sounding too much like anyone.
With 6 tracks that stretch over a half hour, this is a shorter release that still takes its time in getting places. The first two tracks of "Cutter" and "The Mellow One" both meander along with warm pads of lazy electronic strokes while the vocals of Jeanette Faith softly float over as beats occasionally spray out and thump. The latter track takes things a bit higher as Faith's vocals get run through a serious filter, rendering them seriously lo-fi and distorted during the final build.
While "Golden Hummingbird" willfully chops and glitches out the vocals until they're pretty much incomprehensible, there are other moments on the disc that feel like just about the perfect balance of electronic tomfoolery and pop sensibility. "How's Your 401k?" brings in another stuttering chunky beat and flutters soft guitar and a backwards melody behind warm vocals by Faith that are a bit on the silly side but work quite well. Limited to 750 copies, this is another little gem of an EP from Clairecords (like their also-excellent limited EP by Mahogany). If you're into melodic, pop-tinged electronic music at all, seek it out.