Pass the Aux 008: The world within our bedrooms by Drug Store Romeos
vividly hallucinatory periwinkle-tinted dreams
There’s a few movie scenes I think of when imagining that most magical time of day: dusk. Ashton Kutcher picks Mila Kunis up for their dusky date in No Strings Attached (the bouquet of carrots scene, for those in the know) and the countless breathtaking scenes bursting with dusk’s cerulean and periwinkle tones in La La Land (a masterclass in evocative lighting).
What is it about this time of day that feels so comforting? Here are some other common dusky scenarios and images I commonly think of: stepping into a cloudy steaming shower after a sun-drenched day; getting ready for dinner after said rejuvenating shower; how there’s a soft, romantic, deep blue tint upon everything you see for those precious 20-45 minutes (especially magical in the summer months)!
All to say that this week’s album is the sonic personification of dusk and all its wondrous properties. To say that I’ve been anticipating The world within our bedrooms by Drug Store Romeos would be a severe understatement. Sometimes the perfect piece of art finds you at the exact right time and this was just what I needed right now.
Perfect for: A 7pm dusky walk through Greenpoint, Valencia Street, or Silverlake. Summer evening picnics. The come down after a trip.
LIYL: Clairo, the nighttime scenes in The Lion King, lavender, Oh Wonder, psychedelics, Shooting Stars by The Bag Raiders, Starry Night, Vallis Alps
Sarah Downey (singer), Charlie Henderson (bassist), and Jonny Gilbert (drums) are wunderkinds from Fleet, England and this Fiction Records release is their first full-length release. A deliciously produced and composed masterpiece, The world within our bedrooms is a whimsical exploration of the thoughts and emotions that take place in solitude of your bedroom (especially this past year!) – an ideal complement to a self-care evening of inquisitive contemplation.
If I might be able to propose an appetizer to this album’s main course, the band’s 2019 release Quotations for Locations was the track that made me fall in love with their hazy, hypnotic flavor of dream-pop. It’s illustrative of their overall audio signature: a sparkling melancholic synth grounding you in its steady groove as silky layers of percussion, calming bass lines, and Downey’s angelic cooing wash over like a warm bath for your soul.
There’s a supremely serene effect the soundscapes they’ve constructed impart – while the lyrics aren’t the most tangible or concrete, perhaps that’s ok. Perhaps things don’t need to make sense right now. The stroke of mastery imbued in this album is the beauty in not knowing, in surrendering to the abstract – that it’s 100% ok, totally fine, and encouraged to just be, and to feel, and to go with the flow. Drug Store Romeos invites (or perhaps implores) you to dive headfirst their dreamy abyss and in the process, more deeply and comfortably explore the unanswered questions of your own.
Sound good? Great! A track like Building Song is the perfect place to start letting go. Close your eyes, take a deep breath (or shot, hit, etc. etc.), and turn the volume up. As the track’s title alludes, the magic is all in the complexity and layering of sounds upon one another. It’s the perfect spacey, shoegazy prologue for the cosmic journey ahead. Other tracks like What’s On Your Mind are the more solitary planes found on the record for quiet, intimate contemplations and and soul searching.
Frame of Reference joins Quotations as instant-chillers – as in the instant I hear their initial chords, I get chills all over. Very rarely do you find those special songs that transport you to a completely different place, and when you find them you hold them tight and loop ‘em dozens upon dozens of time in a row. This song was so magical, in fact, that when I encountered it in a trailer for The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, I watched the movie purely based off the fact they used this in the trailer. Candidly, it was pretty good!
General observation – I’m finding far more interesting, innovative, and overall satisfying listens in the indie/dream-pop/folk genres than anything else. Hip-hop and electronic releases have been increasingly underwhelming over the past year and perhaps it’s largely influenced by the singer/songwriters I discovered and listened to repeatedly during the pandemic. So thus far in the July playlist, you’ll find it filled to the brim with chilled-out, warm, extremely well-composed indie and folk leaning tunes – but with a sprinkle of more modern, electronic instrumentation throughout.
Decorating time with…
Other albums I’m rinsing: tdbn by Bratty (8.9 🔥), Very Important Music by Dillon Francis (8.4 🔥), if i could make it go quiet by girl in red (7.5), Peace Or Love by Kings of Convenience (7.8), Changephobia by Rostam (8.1 🔥), High Season by Poolside (8.0 🔥) Mr. Soul by Sam Cooke (8.2 🔥), Slime Language 2 by Young Stoner Life (7.5)