November 24 — “Old Haunts” by Memoryhouse


If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Old Haunts” by Memoryhouse (2012, from the album The Slideshow Effect).

Memoryhouse is a dream-pop band from Guelph, Ontario. The band, which formed in 2010, is centered around the work of neoclassical composer Evan Abeele and photographer-turned-singer Denise Nouvion. After a couple of shimmering singles, they released their debut album in February of this year to generally bright reviews.

I’ve already written about this band once, but not in “song du jour” form. Back in April, while on an East Coast US tour, they had several thousand dollars worth of gear stolen from their van. Because of that, they had to cancel a handful of gigs on that tour. After I received an email about the incident, I encouraged all of you to help them get back to work by contributing to their paypal account. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for them to get back into action.

Memoryhouse was one of those bands whose reputation for awesomeness sort of preceded them. I became familiar with one of their singles because of an eMu recommendation, and I liked it quite a bit. When Sub Pop signed the band to a contract, they made a really big about it, and they made an even bigger deal about the release of the debut album. Pre-sales, bundled packages, the whole nine. It was one of many physical copies that I bought this year. As much as I like the convenience of digital downloads, I still buy a fair amount of physical copies. I always will. While some physical copies don’t give you any reason at all to own the physical copy (the new one from Tamaryn, namely), The Slideshow Effect is a great example of why physical copies are awesome. There’s some excellent photography in the booklet, and the packaging is perfect for what it is. I’m a big fan.

Most of the album is crazily dreamy. More dreamy and sleepy than most people would care for, to be honest. It’s totally fine by me. While today’s song certainly starts out extraordinarily dreamily, floating in the ether, there’s a fair amount of heavy noise at the end of the song.

“Old Haunts” by Memoryhouse

When will we know it’s enough?

This starts off with some super-fragile arpeggiated guitar. Denise Nouvion’s lighter-than-air vocals, and thin layer of drums, bass, and hint of lap steel. It’s like a lovely somnambulant walk. The best bit, though, is at 3:15 when everything gets turned up from two to about six. It’s exactly enough noise.

It’s also at that moment that the lyric changes from

When will we know it’s enough?


It’s enough
It’s enough

It’s not complicated. It just touches on a lot of stuff that makes it easy for me to love a song.

You can buy The Slideshow Effect from the SubPop Records web store here. Between now and “Cyber Monday”, the Sub Pop store is offering 20% off all orders over $20.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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