The combination of dream-like surreality and blossoming indie pop is not a new one, but Philadelphia’s Creeping Weeds get the mix of wistful dislocation, gentle melancholy, and jangling, enveloping melodies just right on their debut album. Whether pursuing a soft piano-plinking elegy, as on the opening “Part of a Dream”, spinning out glorious summer pop epiphanies of “Eternity Is a Long Time”, or cranking the slow-rocking, echo-laden drift of “Billy Pilgrim”, the band incorporates a subtle layer of existential angst into its tunes. Alternative, better realities are just around the warped corners of the Creeping Weeds universe, but they are tantalizingly out of reach. As the band puts it in “Billy Pilgrim”, “Each time you wake up to find / You’re still alive / Stuck in real time / Without a trap door.” You might catch a whiff of Modest Mouse here and there in the stuttery rhythms that poke through wafting atmospheres of dream pop, or of Pavement in the slurred, casual intelligence of the words and slackened fire of guitars. Still, Creeping Weeds makes a very strong, very individual statement in this varied set of songs, which runs from psyche-glazed slow rides (“The Desert”) to skewed folk melodies (“Old Country Home”). Definitely a band to watch.
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