The self-titled debut from the duo of Erik Tokle and David J. Dowling greets the listener with a thin, airy wash of sound that slowly but surely folds itself into the most vaporous, stripped down version of post-rock yet, an ennui-lacquered sigh of looped guitar that wraps itself around your head to leave you feeling like it’s 3 in the morning and you’re not sure why you woke up, or if you even did. Once you realize that you’re following along to the very subtle beat running underneath “Neucleotidal,” and that in your head you’re quite liking its lengthened pop-song structure, you’re pretty much owned, and Tokle and Dowling will have their aural way with you for the rest of the disc. The guitar sounds range from ethereal washes to slowly plucked and echoing notes, from light drops of sound to long chordal exhalations, and all of it serves a purpose. They may hate to have me say it, but this is a pretty record. It’s got heart that simply oozes out of it, a vulnerable human side that wants you to just be there to listen, it’s got something it needs to say. And it’s not all moody introspect; “The Golden Mean” comes off with an optimistic slant, between the glittering, high-register drones and the dose of rock guitar that states itself underneath late in the track. The pair play with a bit of glitch/microsound as well, using it to lay down the beat behind “Old Ghosts.” This is a fantastically quiet track, coming in barely above a whisper, an ambient waking dream, a fading feeling you can’t shake. The longest stretch of the disc is given over to the closing track, “…And It Never Goes Out,” a thirteen-minute pensive prayer of downplayed sound, a hush that circles back around to the first track to begin again. And again. This beautifully constructed batch of post-rock ambient musings begs to left playing, the sounds just growing deeper and more communicative with each pass. Bust out the headphones. Dive into it. A strong debut that requires your attention.
Available from the There Is No Teenage Love web site.