White Poppy's eponymous LP is a woozy affair
White Poppy (No Not Fun)
Late last year, White Poppy released Song a Day, a cassette compilation made up of songwriter Crystal Dorval’s daily home demos. And while the studio-recorded songs that make up this eponymous album presumably went through a more rigorous editing process than those off-the-cuff sonic sketches, the results are every bit as woozy and hypnagogic.
As has become her trademark, Dorval uses reverb and delay to blur each instrument almost beyond recognition, and practically every moment in these 10 tracks is deliriously out of focus. Drum machines provide a rhythmic pulse for swathes of echoing guitars, while the singing is buried so low in the mix that the lyrics and melodies are difficult to discern. On opener “Darkness Turns to Light”, a buzz-saw riff slices through tropically chiming licks while Dorval’s angelic vocals occasionally float into view. “Wear Me Away” relies even more heavily on white-hot fuzz, while the pillowy “Skygaze” adds celestially twinkling synths to the proceedings. “Emotional Intelligence” is a percussion-free mood piece that’s beautiful in its ethereal aimlessness.
Dorval has already proved that she can crank out tunes like this on a daily basis, and her output as of late has been prolific. (She released a seven-song EP, Drifter’s Gold, just a couple of months prior to this LP.) Considering how lovely her material has been so far, let’s hope she keeps it up.