October 4, 2011

Delayed Reaction: Air Waves :: Dungeon Dots

I'm not sure how I've overlooked Air Waves—the project of the once Brooklyn and now Austin-based Nicole Schneit—for this long: too much music, too little time I guess. Dungeon Dots, Schneit's debut LP as Air Waves, was recorded at the Walkmen's old Marcata Studios and released last year on Underwater Peoples. If I had known this LP existed back in 2010, there's no question it would have been one of my favorites of the year. Schneit's pop arsenal is comprised of extremely simple and subtle elements—strummy guitars, clear and mellow androgynous vocals, natural yet insistent rhythms—but the barbs on her hooks are fiercely sharp, and once they dig in, there's no letting go. Many writers before have described Air Waves as warm and inviting, and it's true: there's a comforting intimacy and sincerity here that seemingly envelops the listener. But it's not solely comfort, as there's also something distinctly uplifting about Schneit's songs. When you put on "Knockout" or "Lightning," you can't help but tap your toes, bob your head, or maybe even do a little jig. Much of the songs, at least in tone, remind me of Yo La Tengo, especially a record like And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. There's a backdrop of sadness, but it's slowly painted over, rewritten, and turned into something better and brighter with each newly repeated melody and chorus. Oh, did I mention that Sharon Van Etten guests? Yep, still not sure how I missed this record.

Air Waves - "Knockout" (from Dungeon Dots)
Air Waves - "Waters (Feat. Sharon Van Etten)" (from Dungeon Dots)

After the jump, check out an excellent live take of "Lightning" shot by our buds at Quit Mumbling.

Buy Dungeon Dots on vinyl from Underwater Peoples.

Dungeon Dots - Air Waves

No comments:

Post a Comment