[CD REVIEW] the evening primrose – Starless (2010)

[CD REVIEW] the evening primrose – Starless (2010)

Floating admist starless nights

LABEL: POCH Records
LANGUAGE: 英語 (English) / 國語 (Mandarin)
RELEASE DATE: 2010-01-20
RATING: 8.0

The lush music that comes from Hong Kong the evening primrose’s second album Starless, is eerily beautiful.  Like gazing upon the majestic sky on a clear night, it takes time for it all to settle in.  If genres were important, this humble Hong Kong duo may be classified as shoegaze –– considering the band’s song “Stargazer” had previously been included in a shoegaze compilation released in 2008 by Japanese record label Quince.  But in all honesty, it’s actuality quite difficult to label them as such, as influences of dream pop and ambient pop are too noticeable to ignore.

Rather than relying on waves of distortion and droning noise as most shoegaze band’s often do, the evening primrose choose to fill the lapses of time with downtempo electronic sounds and synthesized soundscapes.  Though similar to shoegaze are how these sounds wash onto the listener, and could be likened to the feeling of a refreshing breeze on a warm spring night.  This calming sensation is best demonstrated on “silverain”, which is built upon a slow moving downtempo groove that accentuates singer Finindie’s frail and fragile voice, joining later on is the band’s female member Michhy.  Who lends her vocals to lay a cloud of harmony that acts as foundation for Finindie’s voice to drift along the song.  This mode of expression is used often by the band, and becomes one of their strongest traits.

It’s not easy to pick favorites here as tracks often bleed in and out, and highlights on Starless become highly personal choices: like the ambient electronic textures of “tsukimi” that lead right into the soft guitar arpreggio’s of “singalong” or the relatively noisy tendencies found on “spacetime” or “lander”.   But the centerpiece of the album is probably “starless”, which houses some of the albums most beautiful moments –– a combination of extensive vamping, repeating motif’s and contrasting dual vocals, takes the best parts of the band’s music and puts it into one song.  Still the lack of variety may be a turn off for some people, but for lovers of lush and soothing music, it probably won’t be easy to find a more personal and intimate release coming from Hong Kong this year.

starless | the evening primrose

Recommended tracks: 01, 08, 09

Track Listing:
01. tsukimi
02. singalong
03. spacetime
04. lander
05. trainsong
06. happiness and smiles
07. v
08. silverain
09. starless
10. lightning-road
11. 星沒

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lojun

I like to spend my time on the internet searching for the meaning of life. When I am not doing this you can find me listening to music or playing the bass…or stuffing myself silly on Burritos.

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