There are a few variations, but the true Slumberland sound is instantly evident when it comes floating in on the breeze. It marks a release like a stain (in the best ways). The debut from Brooklyn’s Jeanines is so stuffed full of Slumberland hallmarks and it’s hard to envision it any other place, unless Sarah Records is planning a revival I don’t know about. With production cut to the bone, the album bounces jangles off of every surface in the room, filling the listener’s ears with a delightfully sprightly sound. Alicia Jeanine has a voice that tugs at the memory, bringing visions of Marine Girls, Black Tambourine, Veronica Falls, and Dolly Mixture swimming to the surface. Along with Jed Smith, she’s built a debut that’s unassuming but completely consuming. Soaked in bittersweet bliss, the album is a DIY gem that seamlessly slots itself into the famed roster.
There are songs that pine for lost love and likewise rebuff unsuitable suitors. There are rough cut diamonds, buffed to a sheen through sheer force of janglin’ strings. Jeanine layers her voice, giving her three-part harmonies with a spectral band of selves and it works like a four-track Carter Family supplanting their country roots with DIY DNA – pinning a few new badges on their bittersweet swoon. Smith fills out each track amiably with just the barest amount of backing that packs on the basement practice space charms. They emulate the limited options of ‘80s and ‘90s stalwarts, despite the home recorded revolution. Fans of anything Slumberland, Postcard, Sarah, Cloudberry should be right at home here. The band is studied and serious about keeping their influences tattooed on for all to see. You could be a grump and call ‘em derivative, If it weren’t all so delightfully spot-on, so sincere, and so damnably catchy.
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