I’ve gushed a bit about April Magazine, one of the new wave of SF slowcore cum indipop bands that seem to be cutting traction overseas a bit more than at home, but now the band’s collection of early singles finally arrives on Tough Love. Culled from digital singles and early tapes, the set on If The Ceiling Were A Kite – Vol. 1 is couched in the humble home recorded aura that the band has developed. Woolen hooks slink out of the haze of tape hiss and triple-dubbed cassette crust, but the obfuscation never detracts from the warmth of the band’s sound. Their songs still find a way to feel like love notes to the listener, its just that these letters may have been folded a few times more than necessary and passed from pocket to pocket before they arrived at their intended. It’s a lovely aesthetic to aspire to in 2021, a time when home recording has the ability to wind up echoing a studio crispness thanks to digital solutions, making it all the more magical to seek out the kind of analog asbestos that would have been commonplace some 35 years prior.
And that’s the album’s kernel, its core. The band strives to emulate a string of out-of-time tendencies, from their soft-focus indie pop to the recorded medium, succeeding in sounding like an overlooked gem from a Midwestern basement or Boston dorm room in ’87. Hell, take this one side by side with that recently unearthed Moonlove reissue on Concentric Circles and you’d be hard pressed to pick the genuine time-capsule in a blind taste test. That dedication to form makes the songs on If The Ceiling Were A Kite shine with a smoke-curled earnestness. The band has clearly spent time immersed in the ache of another era, and they only fan the flame of ennui as it blooms out of the speakers.
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