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.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.