Here’s how you make a return after 10 years: Release an album that’s just massively processed looped guitar and vocals, recorded in a single long take, live and straight to analog tape, with no overdubs. If you can pull that off and make it intriguing, dense and immersive, you must be lovesliescrushing. Major players in the 90s dreampop scene, guitarist Scott Cortez and vocalist Melissa Arpin-Duimstra hadn’t recorded together in 10 years prior to creating Ghost Colored Halo; well, it has to be said that the chemistry didn’t suffer any. What comes out is a set of big, drone-based washes that vary from ethereal whispers to heavier, bass-loaded soundscapes. The former you’ll hear in the soft but solemn tones of “The Tiger Hunts Alone”; the latter is best heard on the almost grim “Darklit and Crow.” Check out “The Wounds That Won’t Heal” and “Ghost Colored” for classic dreampop, the way Cortez and Aprin-Duimstra stretch out a standard song format and immerse it under a veil of layered sound. “Ghost Colored” takes on a hypnotic aspect with a steady throb of bass. Throughout the disc, Arpin-Duimstra’s voice is ghostly and distant, folded into Cortez’s constantly shifting layers, making it all the more effective in those moments when it rises above and stands out. loveliescrushing’s sound is something that simply surrounds you, particularly in headphones, and takes you in so fully that when the last note on the last track cuts out, your response to the disconnect is almost physical. The remedy is to hit the play button again; and you will. Ghost Colored Halo is a strong and welcome return from an important name in the genre.
Available from Projekt.