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12" LP

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Quick Overview

Dunes are a mysteriously ethereal and minimal trio from Los Angeles. Appropriating pop and experimental music into a familiar swirl, while retaining a fresh outlook and approach, Dunes inhabit a space of tweaking, twisting, imagining moments and emotions from the past, destined to end up as their future. Stephanie Chan, formerly of Austin Texas bands Finally Punk, and The Carrots plays guitar and sings in Dunes, she creates surreal and dreamy narratives with her lyrics and uniquely beautiful, powerful voice.


The L.A. trio Dunes are made up of members of Mika Miko and the Carrots, but there are no traces of the former's all-out attack or the latter's girl group formality. Instead the band mixes up a concoction that is equal parts 2010's reverb pop, neo-psych moodiness and late-'80s college swirl on their debut album Noctiluca. You can hear contemporaries like Dum Dum Girls and old-timers like Throwing Muses in their sound -- you even get a rare Salem 66 feel in the intertwined guitars and vocals. Taking the best of all their influences, the trio comes up with a sound that is pleasingly murky, tangled, and full of melancholy sweetness. The songs are free of clutter but long enough to build some mystery, the guitar and bass mesh together like overgrown foliage, and the drums push things along gently but firmly. Stephanie Chan's vocals wind through the mix like a thick haze; she has a rich voice that occasionally rises above a whisper but is usually content to stay deep and hidden. Thanks to a production job that keeps everything tightly wrapped under a blanket of mid-range, and songs that all fall into the same basic structure, tempo, and dynamic level, the album has a flowing, unbroken feel that allows the songs to flow into each other smoothly, which would be a problem if the band didn't have such a richly hypnotic sound to begin with. As it is, you come out after 40 minutes of listening to Noctiluca with a warm glow of peaceful indie rock satisfaction.

Additional Information

Artist Dunes
Track Listing Jukebox Adieu Lonely Palm Vertical Walk Red Gold Living Comfortably Falling (In...) Shadow Cameron The Spark Minnow & The Machine Tied Together

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