This new release from Perren Street Parade arrived at the top of my review pile with perfect timing. The last few weeks has seen me reacquainting myself with the exotic delights of the 4AD back catalogue and The Looking Glass feels like it could be a lost album from their early days. Everything from the hazy artwork, the wonderful titles to the music itself all chimes perfectly with their ethic.
It is an album built around dreamlike vocals and ambient musical drifts but shored up with some more tangible instrumentation to stop the whole lot floating away on the breeze. Empty sets the tone immediately, woozy, emotive and achingly earnest and a reminder that some music is best just absorbed through a musical osmosis, rather than being forced upon you through the use of shock tactics.
And from that opening salvo you feel as if you are entering a dream as the music washes over you, past you, through you and even when its dulcet tones are punctuated with the brighter ring of a saxophone, such as on Losing You, Slowly, the result is still one of a late night, chilled vibe.
And if their previous release, Selling The Family Silver, hinted at an album as glorious as this being within their capabilities, I didn’t expect it to come along so quickly. Second albums are notoriously difficult apparently yet this feels effortless, timeless and gloriously understated. If this were 1983 Ivo Watts-Russell would be kicking their door in with a contract in hand.