West Indian Girl

West Indian Girl

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West Indian Girl are a Los Angeles-based duo named after an infamous strain of LSD. It's important to clarify this right at the top, as Robert James and Francis Ten's relationship with mind-altering paraphernalia is the guiding principal of their self-titled Astralwerks debut. "Alone on a hill in the summer time/You could dial your mind/And listen to thought made young and pure," James creaks on the opening "Trip." Though "dial your mind" sounds like stilted drug lingo written by out-of-touch Hollywood screenwriters, West Indian Girl at least seem content with their druggy derivations. "What Are You Afraid Of" looks to vintage Verve for inspiration, while "Visions" is a too-brief throwaway of watery Logan's Run sound effects and sleepy harmony gobbledygook. The single "Hollywood" connects Kraftwerk's autobahn hum to California freeway sunlight, and "Northern Sky" is a satisfying Britpop/Grandaddy/Kate Bush mind meld heightened by some nice accompaniment from an uncredited female vocalist. Laconic, occasionally electronic, and informed with the sunny strumming of California pop history, West Indian Girl will find favor with hookah enthusiasts.

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