- Lavenderlux, Enjoy Your Dream
"Pair with cheap red wine," reads a caption on indie-pop duo Lavenderlux's Bandcamp page. Since it's not responsible or legal to do so while taking a rainy fall drive, consider some cheap gas station coffee instead. It worked well for me. But it doesn't really matter what you enjoy with the band's debut LP, Enjoy Your Dream, because everything fades into the background as Amelia Wilcox and Joseph Human draw you into their exquisite world.
The album's 11 songs came from a cache of approximately 100 tunes that the pair wrote independently or collaboratively. Originally a cross-country online partnership, with Human living in Washington State and Wilcox in Burlington, Lavenderlux is now wholly a Queen City outfit.
Enjoy Your Dream floats in perpetual twilight. Its album cover recalls the suburban stasis of Edward Scissorhands, a neighborhood populated with cookie-cutter houses full of cookie-cutter people unaware of how trapped they are.
Reveries that fade in and out of coherence, its songs live on a perpetual cusp: They're precise but not sharp, poetic without being overly florid, and vulnerable while retaining strength. Wilcox's vocals are commanding yet humble, and the pair's instrumentations are dynamic and whimsical but never gimmicky.
Fittingly, the first lyrics Wilcox imparts on the opening title track — "I sit like a tiger / Waiting to strike" — anticipate a transition. The line leads to the song's (and album's?) thesis: "Wake up or enjoy your dream." Light yet propulsive drums and splashes of psychedelic guitars encircle this seemingly simple, almost slogan-like sentiment. The phrase has an underlying theme of duality, calling out states that are mutually exclusive. But what's the consequence of trying to live in both simultaneously?
During their songwriting process, Wilcox and Human set challenges for each other, such as spending a few days writing a song on a specific theme. One of the most successful results to emerge from this practice — after Human tasked Wilcox with writing a song with only vocals and handclaps — is the undulating "Feel the Cold." Below pulsing waves of harmonized murmurs, the singer triumphs over darkness: "I'm not afraid to feel the cold / It's shown me how to know the warm." Again, Lavenderlux ponder a dyad.
The record is full of standout cuts: the grungy and nostalgic "Extra"; "Webs," which rolls over the same gurgling chord for more than three minutes; and the closer "When the Clouds Break," full of syncopated synths popping softly over yawning streaks of guitar. Two years after their debut EP, Nest Inertia, Enjoy Your Dream solidifies the musical partnership of Wilcox and Human, who clearly bring out the best in each other.
Enjoy Your Dream is available at lavenderlux.bandcamp.com.