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Cooper's Dream


Suburban Living


self-released on BandCamp

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Suburban Living is the project of Wesley Bunch, who apparently is from Norfolk, VA and makes all of this music on his own. Personally i wouldn't consider Norfolk, VA to be suburban. I visited that area once for work, and i found it be a nice, small, coastal town. Then again, "Small Coastal Town Living" doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?

Mr. Bunch has recorded a few things, here and there, that he has available on SoundCloud and BandCamp. Cooper's Dream is his latest, and most fully realized, release. Here he layers shimmering shoegazey guitars over subtle percussion and echoed voices. This is an EP of hazy sounds that float by. The overall effect reminds me a lot of the early work of Felt, and of Cerulean-era The Ocean Blue. Two great touchstones, in my book.

The EP starts off with I Don't Fit In, in which Bunch pairs a tinkling guitar to a rolling bass riff and distant, flattened drums that beat an insistent, steady rhythm. His voice is layered (i think), or perhaps just heavily echoed, so that it forms a faint haze under the guitars. The flat drums and rolling bass drive it along, making this catchy new wave dance music for people in skinny ties who had a few too many coffees before coming to the school dance. It is frantic fun.

He slows it down for Give Up, the guitar echoed to hell and back while he adds in some synths. This is a catchy mid-tempoed tune, Bunch singing call and response with himself. On the chorus, Bunch's voice moves to the front, and suddenly this reminds me a bit of that SWTHRT record from last year, that is, catchy, but with the voice a little too up front.

Prom is a little more electro: the drum machine beating a deep thud while the guitar chimes slowly alongside rich synths. This is a slightly over one minute long beautiful interlude.

Float In Clouds is my favorite here. The drum machine and bass move along at the same frantic pace of I Don't Fit In, but Bunch slows the guitarwork down and ups the chorus effect, really channeling the spirit of Maurice Deebank. However, on the chorus he brings in a sing-song vocal bit a la The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Brilliant stuff, catchy and echoed and lovely.

And finally we wrap things up with Cooper's Dream which is positively lethargic for Bunch. The pace is reasonable, and makes this a nice pop tune, dreamy and echoing. His voice is hushed here, and the overall effect is really lovely.

Overall this is interesting and fun. Bunch is up to some good things.

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