“Just when I think I can forget / Someone says your name / And all the monsters I put to sleep / Are waking up again,” Hannah van Loon of the fuzzy dream pop outfit Tanukichan sings on her latest ten track album, Gizmo. Named after a dog that she rescued from a neighbor and who tragically passed away not long after, there is both a loss and a gratefulness to the record: a record that deals with the complexity of expectation, time’s elusive march, and love’s mercurial nature. “Cause I have something better to do / Yeah, I have so many better things to do.”
It fittingly opens with a track entitled “Escape,” a song which sets the mood for the record. Creating an album is an exercise in escape as much as engagement, and the dreamy feel of the record provides multiple layers to the simple but mysterious lyrics. Produced with Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bear, this album, unlike her previous offering Sundays, has live drums on each of the tracks, which adds to its garage 90’s appeal. The success of the record is certainly in the whir of chunky and beautiful sounds that comprise the songs, topped by van Loon’s breathy vocals.
“If I could find my mind / I’d quit wasting time,” she sings on the song “Thin Air” featuring Enumclaw’s Aramis Johnson. A song that balances her dreamy vocals with his cool and recognizable voice. Buoyed in production and accompaniment by some of modern rocks most exciting acts is a plus, but it’s clear that she is able and willing to rise to the occasion, with her early classical training and her expertise at taking many influences, including shoe gaze and grunge, and making it all her own.
It takes the dream pop genre that Beach House has made so prevalent and draws it back to more alternative guitar roots. It’s a lazy record, in that it draws you into dreamland, but it’s anything but lazy in its piercing look at what motivates us to live our best lives. “Baby, don’t believe in nothing,” she sings on her single, “Make Believe.” That double negative is at the heart of the record. Life affects us with both its knowable and unknowable nature. Love leaves so much want in us as well. It’s a mature record, that you can just put on in the background and enjoy, or dive a bit deeper into.
Order Gizmo by Tanukichan HERE
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