Call To Confirm Colored Copies Are Still Available
Rather than the loose, live energy that gelled on Dusted's 2012 debut Total Dust, this time around the band (fronted by Brian Borcherdt of Holy Fuck) entered a studio and built their songs on quantized rhythms, overzealous overdubs, digital plug-ins and an entirely more polished production style. In spite of all the variables that went into making the album, Blackout Summer is an amazingly consistent and emotionally focused statement. Each song creates its own world of texture and narrative, and all nine of these worlds interlock with the same strange, hazy emotion.
Album opener "Seasons" sets the tone for the album's twilight glow with a protracted, dreamy unraveling of chiming guitar lines and wistful vocals, all building in a slow burn. It captures the band playing live in a cramped makeshift basement studio in Toronto, bringing a necessary human touch to a song about restlessly watching love turn cold. Elsewhere, the wintery "Cut Corners" hangs solemnly before disintegrating into a wash of ghostly tape echoes. Conversely, upbeat lo-fi burners like "Backwoods Ritual" and "Dead Eyes" channel Dusted's experimental energy into catchy guitar pop that feels undeniably alive, almost breathing.
Blackout Summer winds through floating ambience and dark, moody rockers, but every disparate moment somehow feels connected. The vibe is warm and intimate, but always from a distance. There's a sense of searching that drifts throughout but is never communicated overtly. Dusted's fuzzy landscapes, dream-like production and buzzing melodies all congeal, burying Borcherdt's twisted take on pop under layers of that all-important haze.