Lorelei is a three-piece indie rock band from Washington, DC. Their sound incorporates elements of shoegaze, post-rock, and noise pop. They released a very good debut record — Everyone Must Touch the Stove— in 1994, and were one of the bands that defined Slumberland Records. A couple of years passed, and at some point in 1996, the band decided to shut it down. They were all literally moving in different directions to pursue other things in life, so they disbanded. A few years later, Slumberland sadly went dark for a while.
Slumberland moved from the DC area to the San Francisco Bay area, and they resumed business in 2006. Their address and their lineup is different, but they’re still very much the same. Lots of noise-pop. Lots of shoegaze-y stuff. If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’m big fan of the label — both the old school and the new school. For the past two years, they’ve been doing a spectacular job over there. I wouldn’t be surprised to see two or more Slumberland artists on my year-end list.
I loved Everyone Must Touch the Stove, and I was sad when the band pulled the plug. I never imagined that they would get back together, but they did. Sometime around 2006, the three band members all ended up back in the DC area. They started playing together, and they performed a few shows. Most people took those “reunion” shows to be one-offs. However, Slumberland revealed a few months ago that the band was back together for real and that they would release an album this summer. They would also be playing a bunch of shows. Some as part of the Slumberland festival. Some as free-standing shows. Rejoicing ensued.
The release date for the new album kept getting moved around, and the last I knew of it was that it would come out in September. I knew that Slumberland was selling pre-orders for the LP version of Enterprising Sidewalks. but I wasn’t in too much of a hurry since I (shamefully) don’t even have a record player. I was pleasantly surprised this morning with the email from Slumberland, announcing that Enterprising Sidewalks was out!
They’re not producing the album in CD format. Only LP and digital. There it is again. That may be the wave of the future. At least in indie rock.
After giving the album a couple of listens I have a few favorites, and “Three Interlocking Screens” is one of them. This is that song.
“Three Interlocking Screens” by Lorelei
They don’t waste much time with this one. Right into the heavily affected guitars and the vocals with their own heavy effects. I love the cadence of the drums, too. It’s just good old-fashioned noise. Not noise for the sake of noise, but well-designed noise.
My favorite thing about this song is that it comes in two parts. After the vocals drop out at 2:20, they run that bit out at about 2:35. From that point on, it’s a completely different song. The instrumental bit even has its own sub-parts, and in that respect it gets sort of like a Stereolab song. The instrumental bit has a bit of the quiet/LOUD/quiet thing going on, and I’m always a big fan of that. That said, however, I’m sure that when they play this live, there’s nothing even remotely quiet about it.
Starting at that 2:35 mark, for about the next 30 seconds, everything is sort of swelling up. Especially that chiming guitar part. It just keeps getting a tiny bit bigger, and bigger. I was expecting some sort of really dramatic conclusion to that, but it just sort of reaches a plateau without bursting through the roof.
I’ve just listened to this song seven times in a row, and I’m not tired of it. I hope you like it even half as much as I do. Will Enterprising Sidewalks end up on my best of 2012 list? It’s too early to tell.
Order the vinyl of Enterprising Sidewalks from the Slumberland store here. If you act quickly, you’ll get one of the cool clear vinyl with brown splatter. Vinyl orders come with a digital download coupon. If you don’t want the physical copy, order the mp3 version from amazon here. Incidentally, they have the songs listed in the wrong order, but when you buy your download, they’ll be tagged in the correct order.