The Eaves

The Eaves

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A New York-based trio with a female singer and a guitarist who clearly loves his old Echo & the Bunnymen and Smiths albums, the Eaves bring the late-'80s dream pop sound (think of the respective outputs of the 4AD and Factory Benelux labels) into the 21st century. Singer Jen Adam doesn't have the chipmunk squeak of a Liz Fraser or Kristin Hersh; her deeper and more detached vocals are reminiscent of both Tracey Thorn and Brix Smith, and the characteristically nebulous, diffused sound of these seven lengthy songs usually places them well down in the mix, under her keyboards and Casey Sweten's roiling, echoey guitar lines. Similarly, atmosphere and texture tends to be placed before melody. Although all of these songs have sturdy tunes and memorable hooks (the propulsive, Go-Betweens-like "Bird Lawyer" is particularly wonderful), the pillow-soft surfaces of the songs are so luxuriously inviting that several listens can go by before the melodic strength of songs like the deliciously dreamy "Top Drawer Man" sinks in. Anyone with a fond memory of the pre-grunge shoegazer scene will find much to love here, but the Eaves have enough personality and talent to keep from being a mere nostalgia act.

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