The Wilderness

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At its foggy surface, Cemeteries’ debut album The Wilderness appears to be made by a stripped-down group playing clean, efficient indie rock, but in truth (with the exception of some additional drum programming by Jonathan Joviero), multi-instrumentalist Kyle J. Reigle handles all the musical duties. His songs have a hint of gloom, but nothing as scary as the goth name suggests. Two major 2012 trends sneak into play, witch house and chillwave, but mostly the album encapsulates the drowsy echoes of dream pop. Reverberated atmospherics might bring to mind Mazzy Star, and the nocturnal qualities fall right in line with contemporaries like Beach House and Bradford Cox's drearier, spacy output in Deerhunter or Atlas Sound. Even though the music sounds like it’s floating in from a distant sound system, the whispery vocals and quietude of the album make it all feel very intimate. This is par for the course, since the album was crafted in the spare bedroom of Reigle’s apartment. Apparently, Buffalo’s spring and summer months feel mighty lonely when you’re recording in solitude. Sweeping in like a chilly autumnal breeze, lyrics like "This room is dark. There’s something in the shadows. It’s something cold and hollow" weigh heavy against the thick, dreary organ textures and effortlessly frosty electric guitar picking. Sure, the mood is grim, but it’s a comforting listen nonetheless. A sophisticated pop pleasure from start to finish.

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