Soft Swells

Soft Swells

by David Maine

5 March 2012

 

Gauzy electro-pop collaboration hits the sweet spot.

cover art

Soft Swells

Soft Swells

(Modern Outsider)
US: 28 Feb 2012
UK: 28 Feb 2012

Soft Swells is a collaboration between California’s Tim Williams and Brooklyn’s Matt Welsh of Phonograph. With a sound that combines the laid-back surf vibe of California with a sound built of of layers of synth-heavy electronic sounds, Soft Swells manages to bring a warm organic feeling to songs that might have suffered from electronic iciness. Much of the warmth comes from Williams’ vocals, which express a yearning and wistfulness that brings real heart to the proceedings. Album opener “Every Little Thing” establishes the tone, with standout tracks like “Don’t Cut It Off,” “Never Leave Home” and “Make It Go Away” profitably mining a similar vein. These songs all come later in the album; perversely, the early songs actually feel more tired and formulaic, as with the unmemorable “Overrated.” Overall, though, these tunes manage to be exactly what they aim for: little three-minute nuggets of electro-pop candy. As with any candy, they start feeling insubstantial after a while, but they sure go down easy.

Soft Swells

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article