Exploring the world of Screens 4 Eyes

11889571_503026073195549_5537214810467763700_nHaving written about Tel Aviv dream-pop outfit Screens 4 Eyes for a while now, we thought it was time to find out a bit more about them and so we sat down with Yael Brener to dig a little deeper into the band and its music.

Firstly it is an interesting name for a band, is there any deeper meaning behind you choosing it?

I started to feel more and more haunted at the time by the new technology era, which so much have already been said and written about. I realized my own life is now totally mediated by screens. My office day job, my then long distance relationship, listening to and making music etc. I was in terror when hearing about the google glasses invention, talking about the ability to – for example – scan the people in front of you and know if they’re lying, or other details about them. Losing all sense of mystery, humanity, curiosity to discover.

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A Sudden Warmness –  Cherry Coloured (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

a0927677866_16They say that one swallow does not a summer make, similarly two bands does not quite equate to a scene, but from the outside looking in with bands such as Screens 4 Eyes and now Amit Buium working under the new name of Cherry Coloured, it does seem as if Tel Aviv is engaging in the same dream-pop/shoegaze revival that’s gaining momentum in the UK and US. Last year’s Void wandered though some drifting and hazy soundscapes, perfectly living up to the dream-pop moniker by combining a certain otherworldliness with enough pop structure to keep things from floating too far out of reach. A Sudden Warmness wanders similar territory.

And despite the musical references that Cherry Coloured alludes to, not least the one in the title, it is music which sounds familiar yet not quite reminiscent enough to be able to tie it down, an awareness of the musical heritage it is  a continuation of yet clever enough not to just run amok with its legacy, an extension to the canon rather than just a reworking of its core tenets. More than anything A Sudden Warmness is as thoughtful as it is beautiful, it delicately pulses and shimmers, drifts and chimes and whilst doing so ponders emotional distance, loss and separation but reminds us that kindness and optimism are still inherent qualities of the human condition. Gorgeousness personified.

Behind These Doors – Screens 4 Eyes (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

a0997470037_16As the music from this album washes out of my speakers and I sit here staring at the artwork before me, it dawns on me just what a great visual representation of the music it is. The cover, like the music it envelops, is all about texture, vivid colours being subsumed and fading into minimal lines, light blending into shade, soft edges and abstracted images with just enough form and structure to hold everything together. Get within and the same forces are at work.

 

At its more minimalist extremes the songs here often feel like a collection of moods rather than music, of wistful reflections made into sound, of heart-breaking emotion, of barely tangible but emotively powerful expressions of love and loss and life. It feels like the resonant ghost of the sounds that hang in the air when the music itself has been erased before itself being lost to the breeze.

At the other extreme songs such as Channel To Id and Night Fog drive on a cinematic electro-groove, the latter wandering into the same fuzzy and warped territory that The Cocteau Twins used to be sole custodians of.

And it is in the balancing act between these two extremes that music of great elegance is created, a new wave of classicism, a film score to a movie too beautiful to be made, a sound which connects dots between the experimentalism of the 4AD ethic and its re-emergence as post-rock, music that shimmers and collides, soars and trembles as if it scares itself with its own fragile nature.

Behind These Doors shows just how cleverly the song writing collects, harnesses and alchemises genres, shift moods and subverts expectations not only from one track to the next but within the each individual song itself.

The E.P.s swansong, the aptly named Song of The Sea, is a triumph of meandering intent and slow burning dynamic build, employing enough groove and skittering beat to catch the ear of the alt-pop mainstream and more than enough cool elegance and detachment to create a cult following. And that is the perfect summation of the Screens 4 Eyes music. Commercial in an underground sort of way, the music that the music elite and the tastemakers will always revel in being the first to name drop in the right circles, but also accessible enough to attract a wider audience.

One day you’ll be watching TV and a Screens 4 Eyes song will appear as the play out to that year’s blockbuster movie or the score to the latest Toyota commercial, then you’ll wish you had listened to me. Trust me, I’m a journalist.

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