Eyedress Sets Emotions Against Shoegaze Backdrops on 'Let's Skip to the Wedding'

Photo: Razy Faouri / Courtesy of Force Field PR

Eyedress' Let's Skip to the Wedding is a jaggedly dreamy assemblage of sounds that's both temporally compact and imaginatively expansive, all wrapped in vintage shoegaze ephemera.

Let's Skip to the Wedding

Lex Records

7 August 2020

The gradual emergence of more and better low-barrier tools for the creation and dissemination of media has reached unprecedented heights in recent years, and the impact on popular music has been substantial. Who could have imagined the rise of Soundcloud rappers even a decade ago? While minimalist and DIY approaches to music are hardly new, the pared-down aesthetic certainly seems to be experiencing a kind of renaissance in which musicians have a low-maintenance array of electric and acoustic sounds at their fingertips and can use them to run the gamut from preternaturally tweaked and polished to raw and rustic. And it can all sound cool.

Manila-based singer-songwriter and producer Eyedress – also known as Idris Vicuña, both drummer and frontperson for Bee Eyes – sounds extremely cool on his new solo release Let's Skip to the Wedding. It's a jaggedly dreamy assemblage of sounds sorted into 19 relatively brief tracks for a final product that is both temporally compact and imaginatively expansive, all wrapped in vintage shoegaze ephemera. Vicuña's unassuming voice, low to the point of mumbling at times, is convincingly disaffected and intimately dissonant as it slips between tinny drum machine beats, jangly electric guitar, and chameleon synths. Rarely does it approach the forefront, further underscoring the importance of atmosphere.

Cohesive in aura, the album still has a mixtape feel to it, quick cuts artfully disjointed, plugged-in instruments slightly warbly, and each track a distinct moment, some particularly sublime. "Never Been to Prom" layers pillowy electronics over stretched-out funk grooves for a psychedelic take on disco. Auto-Tuning distorts the vocals on "Mystical Creatures Best Friend" into mechanical echoes, while closing track "Anything for You" is a quintessential indie rock ballad. Faster cuts like "Let's Skip to the Wedding", "Jealous", and non-single standout "Happy Hour" squeeze all possible sonic elements together in dense melodic ostinati over simple, driving rhythms.

Stitching these together are offbeat scraps like "Romantic Lover", a minute and a half of Vicuña giving near-monotone vocals over sharp, looping synths. In a similar vein, "Never Want to Be Apart" sees the guitar taking instrumental priority. Meanwhile, the angrier, edgier "I Don't Wanna Be Your Friend" makes for a more energetic use of Vicuña's deadpan vocal delivery. Though more extended, "Trauma" similarly riffs on a brief, ethereal musical theme, its motion an omnidirectional drift rather than a linear path, a counterpoint to straightforward synthpop track "X-Girl".

As its title implies, Let's Skip to the Wedding is ultimately emotionally-driven, Vicuña complementing his sonic openness with lyrics based around the personal and often impulsive, a sincere emotional core that grounds the aural experimenting. The expressions here need not be new ("Yes, you're my lover / There is no other" sings Vicuña at the end of "Romantic Lover") to find unique presentation. At the same time, the sounds need not fit a single mold to be deeply individual. The total of sentiment and innovation is ultimately the vital heart of Vicuña's work. Let's Skip to the Wedding is a showcase of remarkable range and bold clatter, and Eyedress, a cool artist with clear intentions whose good head for ingenuity and handmade music helps him fan creative sparks into full-blown fires.






The Dance of Male Forms in Denis' 'Beau travail'

Claire Denis' masterwork of cinematic poetry, Beau travail, is a cinematic ballet that tracks through tone and style the sublimation of violent masculine complexes into the silent convulsions of male angst.


The Cradle's 'Laughing in My Sleep' Is an Off-kilter Reflection of Musical Curiosity

The Cradle's Paco Cathcart has curated a thoughtfully multifarious album. Laughing in My Sleep is an impressive collection of 21 tracks, each unapologetic in their rejection of expectations.


Tobin Sprout Goes Americana on 'Empty Horses'

During the heyday of Guided By Voices, Tobin Sprout wasn't afraid to be absurd amongst all that fuzz. Sprout's new album, Empty Horses, is not the Tobin Sprout we know.


'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Spotlights America's Current Voting Restrictions as Jim Crow 2.0

Featuring an ebullient and combative Stacey Abrams, All In: The Fight for Democracy shows just how determined anti-democratic forces are to ensure that certain groups don't get access to the voting booth.


'Transgender Street Legend Vol. 2' Finds Left at London "At My Peak and Still Rising"

"[Pandemic lockdown] has been a detriment to many people's mental health," notes Nat Puff (aka Left at London) around her incendiary, politically-charged new album, "but goddamn it if I haven't been making some bops here and there!"


Daniel Romano's 'How Ill Thy World Is Ordered' Is His Ninth LP of 2020 and It's Glorious

No, this is isn't a typo. Daniel Romano's How Ill Thy World Is Ordered is his ninth full-length release of 2020, and it's a genre-busting thrill ride.


The Masonic Travelers Offer Stirring Rendition of "Rock My Soul" (premiere)

The Last Shall Be First: the JCR Records Story, Volume 1 captures the sacred soul of Memphis in the 1970s and features a wide range of largely forgotten artists waiting to be rediscovered. Hear the Masonic Travelers "Rock My Soul".


GLVES Creates Mesmerizing Dark Folktronica on "Heal Me"

Australian First Nations singer-songwriter GLVES creates dense, deep, and darkish electropop that mesmerizes with its blend of electronics and native sounds on "Heal Me".


Otis Junior and Dr. Dundiff Tells Us "When It's Sweet" It's So Sweet

Neo-soul singer Otis Junior teams with fellow Kentuckian Dr. Dundiff and his hip-hop beats for the silky, groovy "When It's Sweet".


Lars and the Magic Mountain's "Invincible" Is a Shoegazey, Dreamy Delight (premiere)

Dutch space pop/psychedelic band Lars and the Magic Mountain share the dreamy and gorgeous "Invincible".


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" Wryly Looks at Lost Love (premiere + interview)

Singer-songwriter Alexander Wren's "The Earth Is Flat" is a less a flat-earther's anthem and more a wry examination of heartache.


Big Little Lions' "Distant Air" Is a Powerful Folk-Anthem (premiere)

Folk-pop's Big Little Lions create a powerful anthem with "Distant Air", a song full of sophisticated pop hooks, smart dynamics, and killer choruses.


The Flat Five Invite You to "Look at the Birdy" (premiere)

Chicago's the Flat Five deliver an exciting new single that exemplifies what some have called "twisted sunshine vocal pop".


Brian Bromberg Pays Tribute to Hendrix With "Jimi" (premiere + interview)

Bass giant Brian Bromberg revisits his 2012 tribute to Jimi Hendrix 50 years after his passing, and reflects on the impact Hendrix's music has had on generations.

Jedd Beaudoin

Shirley Collins' ​'Heart's Ease'​ Affirms Her Musical Prowess

Shirley Collins' Heart's Ease makes it apparent these songs do not belong to her as they are ownerless. Collins is the conveyor of their power while ensuring the music maintains cultural importance.


Ignorance, Fear, and Democracy in America

Anti-intellectualism in America is, sadly, older than the nation itself. A new collection of Richard Hofstadter's work from Library of America traces the history of ideas and cultural currents in American society and politics.

By the Book

Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto (excerpt)

Just as big tech leads world in data for profit, the US government can produce data for the public good, sans the bureaucracy. This excerpt of Julia Lane's Democratizing Our Data: A Manifesto will whet your appetite for disruptive change in data management, which is critical for democracy's survival.

Julia Lane

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.