Still Dreams - Make Believe

Elefant
(ER1262: 8428846112626)



Release date: 4/16/2021.
Numbered limited edition of 500 pink vinyl 12” mini LP with download.

LINE UP: MAAYA WACHI (vocals / Osaka-Japan), RYUTA WACHI (guitar and production / Osaka-Japan)

INFLUENCES: COCTEAU TWINS, NEW ORDER, M83, ARCADE FIRE, MY BLOODY VALENTINE

TRACKLIST: 01 Ultra Doomed  02 Last True Love  03 Spell  04 Drive All Night (Faster Than Light) 05 One More Kiss  06 Make Believe  07 Live With Excuse  08 2008

“New Adventures In Pop” collection [Issue 051]

We do not need to tell you that at Elefant Records we have a weakness for bands from far east Asia. The duo STILL DREAMS reaffirms our feelings about the marvelous music that comes to us from that region, and now they are included in our catalogue with a 12” pink vinyl Mini-LP that, of course, is being released as a part of our “New Adventures In Pop” collection, which we reserve for promising new bands.

Ryuta and Maaya were already playing in bands together, since their high school days. But after getting married, they decided to form STILL DREAMS. And after a couple of EP’s, they are here with Elefant with “Make Believe”, a purification of their musical conceptualization, reaching the sublime. These eight songs comprise a conglomeration of evocative, luminous emotions and an openly pop spirit, close to COCTEAU TWINS, Sarah Records, synth-pop and NEW ORDER.

The album opens with a song that we know as our introduction. “Ultra Doomed” is an exercise in evocative, synthesized pop, with huge melodies, that could fit in somewhere between SAINT ETIENNE and THE HUMAN LEAGUE. The song invites us to dance and get excited in equal parts. “Last True Love” reminds us again of the universe of the Bernard Sumner crew: basses full of energy, ultra-catchy, infinitely luminous and energetic lines. There is an extensive development of unequivocally pop dedication, which little by little is becoming their trademark. “Spell” gives us one of the first surprise twists: touches of funk and disco music, serving a catchy, blissed-out chorus. Muted Stratocasters, percussive synthesizers, an 80s explosion. “Drive All Night (Faster Than Light)” takes it up a notch: we start out with a synth-pop not too far from OMD and end up with techno-pop along the lines of groups like BIS or DUBSTAR. Pure hedonism.

“One More Kiss” opens the B side of this precious, numbered-limited-edition vinyl (that once again has exquisite cover art by Kanutsanan Khemthong, a.k.a., KNN.5) and reminds us again of the marvelous duality of STILL DREAMS’ music: ideal for listening while watching the sunrise; magical for a night of exaltation. Something like the early THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART, but pushed in this case by a drum machine. “Make Believe”, apart from being the title track, reinforces the melancholy factor. Broken hearts and emotions right at the surface in an outstandingly dazzling piece. “Live With Excuse” is epic explosion of euphoria, working from the pop essence of groups like M83 and ARCADE FIRE. A wall of sound hiding major melodies, or a reformulation of MY BLOODY VALENTINE’s universe through synthesizers. “2008”, to wrap things up, returns to the most precious and uninhibited techno-pop, to summer nights, to maximum happiness.

This album is surprising in its ability to inhabit different emotional spaces, from the most festive to the most introspective, always staying true to undeniably pop melodies. This debut definitely lets us foresee great moments in the company of STILL DREAMS’ music.

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