Memoryhouse “The Slideshow Effect”
Memoryhouse’s first EP for SubPop was a gauzy drifting electronica affair, a dream of pop music glimpsed through heavy lids. They’ve tightened and brightened up since. Taking two years to road test the songs has given them immediacy, a twee pop bounce. Denise Nouvion has the kind of voice that has appeal beyond any generic confines, I could listen to her singing Nashville Country, French chanson, electro-pop, pretty much anything. What this record sounds like is somewhere near Allo’ Darling and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
So it’s pretty much pop all of the way; big bright choruses, chiming guitars and with Nouvion’s clear ringing tones it makes pleasure its primary purpose, pop of course does not mean an unrelenting sparkle of major chords, there’s plenty of room for subtlety and shading. ‘Punctum’ even employs slide guitars signalling the distance they’ve travelled and the sheer delight of the rising chime of guitars of ‘Heirloom’ is a long way from their Max Richter inspired origins.
‘Walk With Me’ with warm washes of organ and Nouvion’s rich tones is like a comforting hand on the shoulder, it takes you along with it and the gradual avalanche of guitars brings it to a wonderful climax. The spun sugar guitars of ‘The Kids Were Wrong’ is as achingly sweet as they get, they are like putting space dust (the mouth tingling candy) directly into the ears, beneath the confection there’s some real depth to the songs. And that’s the catch here, the songs have surface barbs and buried hooks, ‘Bonfire’ has the smoky tang of delicious melancholy, it seduces as it saddens, there’s real heart in the heartache.