Echodrone: Mixtape For Duckie – album review
Echodrone – Mixtape For Duckie (bandcamp)
Echodrone, San Fransisco shoegaze/ dreampop/ indie band released their fourth album; a collection of eighties covers. Adrian Bloxham has been listening for Louder Than War
I miss mixtapes, compilations lovingly created with a turntable, tape deck and a finger poised over a pause button. Giving someone a tape meant that you had thought about them, usually for hours, choosing what they might like and what you could nudge into their heads. It was a very personal thing to do. Records scattered around the floor as you used felt tip pens to draw a cover. Trying to remember to write down the tracklist as you went.
This is a mixtape dedicated to Andrew McCarthy, the heartthrob actor from eighties teen movies like Pretty In Pink and St Elmos Fire. The tape is for Duckie, the hapless friend in Pretty In Pink whose character pretty much sums up my memories of the eighties, awkward and ever hopeful.
Just like all the best mixtapes I was given, I didn’t know all of the songs here. You have to put a mixtape on and absorb it under your skin, let it leak into your brains through your ears, you have to listen. Underneath this music is a dark flow, it’s a sort of flawed memory, a regret for times past that were better than where you ended up. The music is polished and crystal clear, full of shining synth lines and crisp drums, but if you look closely it is tarnished. The singing is quite beautiful; the harmonies soar, but deep below it there is a menace. Like the vampire kids in ‘Lost Boys’ there is a dark undertone to the fresh sound. The further into the album you get, the weirder the feel, like that moment when you have been walking for a while and suddenly you realise that all the shops on the street are boarded up and the air tastes of poverty. It sneaks up on you and the more you listen the more you submerge yourself into the sounds. At the end of ‘All The Time In The World’ the guitars echo a discord far from any of the original songs.
Echodrone have created an album that takes the music from twenty to thirty years ago and gently moulds it into something completely different. It’s going to get inside of you; it’s going to feel personal.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.