Dream On

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For anyone even remotely familiar with old-school indie pop, Celestial will sound eerily familiar. Their jangly, reverb-laden debut full-length sounds largely like a cross between the Field Mice and Talulah Gosh, and at times touches on any number of other bands including New Order, Black Tambourine, and Primal Scream (especially on "Fragile Heart," which starts off sounding a heck of a lot like Primal Scream's "Velocity Girl"). It's not clear, at least as of this release, whether Celestial have made the kind of enduring music their predecessors did. What they have done is to convincingly replicate the sound of the indie pop acts of the previous decade(s), and the good news is that Celestial aren't completely buried under the weight of their influences as a result. The band is at its best when it strikes the perfect balance of shambling, sweet, and wistful; tracks like "Brighton Girl" (featuring Malin Dahlberg's icy-sweet backup vocals), "Horoscope," and the title track all harbor the kind of mixtape-worthy indie pop snap that makes Dream On rise above its influences. On the other hand, the disc runs into a few snaggles when it succumbs to drowsy, acoustic guitar-led tracks like "Pale Blue Eyes," which is far too earnest for its own good, and the sweaty, pounding track "Nothing Happens; Twice," which is just a bit too aggressive for its own good. Taken as a whole, Dream On isn't dazzling, but it does have some nice sparkles.

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