Moon Tides

Pure Bathing Culture

Partisan Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Have you ever seen cover art and just thought to yourself 'I really want to love this album?’ That's basically how I felt about Moon Tides, the debut full length from new Portland, Oregon residents Sarah Versprille (vocals, keys) and Daniel Hindman (guitar), AKA Pure Bathing Culture. This disc also features members of the indie folk outfit Vetiver. Fortunately, there's much to love here beyond the aesthetically pleasing art; the pair makes beautiful sounds that encompass some of the most pleasant moments or rock music from the '70s on. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The first song “Pendulum” lays the groundwork perfectly with a dreamy landscape where Versprille's voice complements the gentle guitars and artificial drumming that sounds like if a young Stevie Knicks was reborn as a modern day indie artist. “Dream The Dare” follows and is a more down tempo affair, which leads into the nearly hypnotic and lush “Evergreener,” which is reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins. You can't help but notice that '80s sensibilities are all over the album, particularly on the jangly “Only Lonely Lovers,” while songs like “Scotty” and “Golden Girl” could have easily soundtracked any number of quirky '80s movies, the former having a bit of an R&B feel, the latter a cosmic ballad. The gentle, calming listen ends on “Temples Of The Moon,” the longest track where guitar looping fades into synth that fizzles out with a haunting feel.

Moon Tides sounds somewhere between the nostalgic feel of Fleetwood Mac and the hazy, fuzzy sounds of the early days of indie rock. The smooth, echoed guitars and sunny West Coast vibe here are certainly breezy, often warm and soothing and never approaching anything near mundane. Produced by the always-exceptional Richard Swift (of The Shins), the synth pop, chillwave and washed out retro-rock sounds here soar, swirl and are as mysterious as they are captivating.

Rating: A-

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© 2014 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Partisan Records, and is used for informational purposes only.