The title and album cover of the Backhomes’ sophomore release is a perfect pairing to the mood and tone of the band’s latest set of songs. An impending eclipse over a vast oceanscape that adorns the cover reflects the sense of otherworldly grandeur and mystery enclosed within.
The Victoria dream pop duo display complete clarity of artistic vision as Tidal Wave crests and washes over the listener only to slowly recede back into the ether. Kees Dekker and Aimee van Drimmelen possess an evocative flair for their craft as the tracks feel organic yet opulent.
Tidal Wave itself flows almost like a single musical suite as certain ideas are reprised and built upon as the album progresses. Opener “That’s All” slowly unfolds like blooming flora as layers of guitar, a circular bass and drum rhythm, and a piano melody are gradually added to the droning synth intro.
The Backhomes’ approach is psychedelic but decidedly modern, as a track like “Solid Gold” mixes surf rock with a ‘90s era techno beat in a bizarre yet successful marriage of two seemingly contradictory styles. For a DIY production, the studio craft at work is flawless and an improvement over the slight muddiness in the mix of their previous record, Only Friends.
The Backhomes have succeeded in creating an experience for the listener. Tidal Wave is beyond a collection of new songs. It is a lush and panoramic sonic journey. Try not to get lost.