Daycones Picks Up the Pace (Just a Bit) on "The Cruel Echo"

Nov. 17, 2014
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The heyday of the one-man experimental bedroom project is over. Interest in this stuff peaked several years ago, when a corp of bloggers (some of them writing for Pitchfork’s affiliate site Altered Zones) scoured the Internet, eager to share any unusual lo-fi oddities they came across. But eventually the supply began to dwarf the demand. Previously overzealous bloggers gradually stopped updating their Tumblrs, and Pitchfork eventually put poor Altered Zones out of its misery. The music itself lives on, of course. Every musician with a computer and without the people skills to be in a band continues to post their self-produced solo sketches online, in hopes that somebody—anybody—might take an interest in it. Mostly they’re met with silence.

So yeah, for the most part I don’t think too highly of this stuff, but occasionally one of these projects wins me over. One that caught my ear last year, either in spite of or because of its languid pacing, was a psych-drenched self-recording by the Milwaukee artist Daycones, Timescape Psalm, which played like a tranquilized hodgepodge of Wire, Sisters of Mercy and Deerhunter. Some of those same influences carry through Daycones’ latest release, The Cruel Echo, which ditches some of the more overtly trippy digressions of Timescape Psalm in favor of slightly more driven rock tempos, but still sounds like a third-generation cassette dub.

I don’t want to oversell my recommendation—even the best tracks sound like demo versions of songs begging for a real studio, and if you’re at all tired of this aesthetic this release won’t be the one to win you over—but like its predecessor, The Cruel Echo keeps drawing me back. As much as it irks me at times, I’ve had it on repeat for the last several days, and it keeps sucking me right into its headspace. This is an album you can get lost in, whether you want to or not.

You can stream The Cruel Echo below via Bandcamp.

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