Tree Wave

Cabana EP+ (Made Up Records)

I've seen weird instruments listed in CD liner notes before, but a dot matrix printer must be the weirdest yet. The rest of the Dallas duo's musical arsenal is just as unconventional, but on Cabana EP+, the Casio keyboards and old-school video game systems transcend most gimmicks associated with "blip-hop." Paul Slocum's thick, bleeding textures and Lauren Gray's understated vocals fondly recall My Bloody Valentine, or at least if Kevin Shields programmed with a Commodore 64. Occasionally, danceable beats rise up from the guitar and synthesizer stew, but Tree Wave keeps songs fresh with an unexpectedly solid combination of odd song structures and a love for pop. Tracks like the ever-mutating "Morning Coffee Hymn" and the swirling blast of "Sleep" indicate a confidence not normally heard in a local debut. Granted, 24 minutes isn't enough to trust that Tree Wave could do so well on a full-length, but at the very least, Cabana's lush-yet-poppy electronica never wears thin on this EP.

 
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