Album Reviews

Memoryhouse – The Slideshow Effect

(Sub Pop) UK release date: 20 February 2012


Sub Pop have this trend going on where they take on the more idiosyncratic artists in the independent music zone. Sometimes being weird pushes audiences away – far away. However, the Seattle label’s “weird” has an even better trend of gluing listeners with their signature electrifying and infectious chill. Their newest addition, Memoryhouse, made up of Evan Abeele and Denise Nuvion, preserves this Sub Pop tradition, while allowing space for the band to add their own zestful vibe.

Initially, the two Ontarians began Memoryhouse as some kind of hipster project, where Abeele would focus on his instrumentals, matching his music with Nuvion’s photograph and short film displays. Now, the duo offer compositions pair constructive production with aesthetic instrumental leads. Resembling Real Estate, Abeele’s lead guitar forms a contagious riff in versed intervals throughout The Kids Were Wrong, steered by a second guitar lead overlap and a moderately pleasant synth pad.

Abeele’s apt use of electronic leads seems to be modified in a manner that permits a fluid crossover between a bubbly ambient intro and their uniform, reverberated instrumentals. This would be commonly heard in Panda Bear or Animal Collective works. Pale Blue fits this association nicely, but only in the beginning of the piece, as it soon diffuses into a low tempo track, consisting of heavily emphasised vocals that intermittently echo throughout.

Hailing from Guelph, Canada’s self-styled “City of Music”, Memoryhouse’s sound in places calls to mind the music of Toro Y Moi, Beach House and even Mogwai. And The Slideshow Effect goes some way to justifying the city’s nickname. It’s the uniformity and thematic consistency that helps make for an enjoyable listen. Kinds Of Light is a case in point, sporting Explosions In The Sky-like guitars jangling against each other, while harmoniously diffusing with a soft and almost unnoticeable background piano.

Nuvion’s mellow singing is blended with a modish reverberated guitar ostinato, most striking in Walk With Me, the album’s most empowering and creatively formed number. Replete with looping riffs, melodious vocalisation and tender hi-hats, this impressive piece beckons nostalgic and amiable tones and textures. The duo had initially made certain that this release was going to be a naturally and patiently organised album. Touring for two years, they experimented with each of the tracks. The Slideshow Effect blends much that has gone before, and serves up a freshly defined new act that has potential for popular success.


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Memoryhouse – The Slideshow Effect


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