Shuteye Unison

Our Future Selves

Written by: DR on 23/12/2010 04:49:16

The name Shuteye Unison is one that was instantly familiar to me for some reason, and what that reason was I couldn't place. That was, until, PP forwarded me the press-info email and in that email I discovered he had reviewed their debut a little over a year ago. This quintet from San Francisco didn't quite seem to wow him, but seeing as it was a debut it's probable they just had a few kinks to work out of their sound. This album is the result of that progression, and while it's not quite kink-free, it's an album worth your time.

"Our Future Selves" has a strong indie influence, acts like Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service are the two I recognised, particularly in the relaxed vocals, while the musicianship generally derives from a clear love of post-rock ala The Appleseed Cast, all put together with lo-fi production. Pigeon-holing them to either genre would be redundant, as in songs they drift from an uptempo fuzzy-indie sound and into serene atmospherics, such as opener "Be Kimball"; it starts the album off energetically with foot-tapping indie rock guitar work, but about halfway through it fades and allows piano work to drift in as the vocals take a more airy turn to create a dreamy soundscape. That transition isn't rushed - the song lasts over seven minutes, and even as the song is dying down they don't hurry it, oozing every last drop out of the dreamy soundscape.

Even though that transition is sudden, you cannot accuse Shuteye Unison of forcing it. Maybe that's a result of their sound or their ability, but it flows naturally, elating the listener in the process. SU write those bright melodies and uplifting songs excellently, for it's not easy to marry catchy choruses and lofty atmospherics with the end result being both enchanting and infectious. However, the flow of this is interupted by darker tracks - "War Feathers" and "Portable Rome" I'm looking at you two especially - where did the happy melodies go? And why have those atmospherics been replaced by heavier, even noisy, musicianship? Luckily, "Century M" is on hand to see to it that the album ends in the style it should, with a seven-minute build up of post-rock meets indie goodness - there's even a This Will Destroy You-esque guitar-line underneath that urges the song forward.

For the most part, Shuteye Unison really have a handle on what they're doing, and what they're doing is both inventive and interesting. Fans of both indie and post-rock will be drawn to this, and even if you think you're a fan of one but not the other it's likely you'll still enjoy "Our Future Selves".

Download: Century M, Be Kimball, Swear Words
For The Fans of: The Appleseed Cast, The Postal Service, Death Cab For Cutie
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 16.11.2010
Parks And Records

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