Sometimes a Gate is Opened – Screens 4 Eyes (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

I guess the art of making music which falls into the loose and broad realms of dream-pop is getting the balance between blissful transience and an engaging structure just right. Wander too far one way and you are into formless ambience, head towards the other extreme and you end up making washy dance music. It’s about tethering the music just enough so that you have a structure which serves as a place to hang all of your other sonic ideas from. And that is exactly what Screens 4 Eyes manage to do on this latest single.

For the majority of the song a confident yet spacious beat and a grumbling bass line act as the musical spine grounding it and providing a central flame for all of the other sonic moths to flit and flap around. Around this central pulse they weave hazy, half-heard vocals, shimmering synth washes and chiming musical motifs. The result is a song which drives hard when it needs to and floats and fades when the mood takes it.

Screens 4 Eyes has a wonderful track record of walking this middle ground, this place where indie cool and cinematic ambience, free floating musical forms and almost dance inspired background grooves all collide. The band may occasionally wander around the sonic playgrounds once inhabited by the likes of My Bloody Valentine and Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dead Can Dance and The Cocteau Twins but rather than revel in past glories it prefers to paint a picture of the musical future. Or one particular possible version of it at least. And that future looks…well, hazy! Wonderfully so.

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