REVIEW: Douglas Douglas – “Amigos”

File this one under better late than never and make sure to put it right next to the folder marked “things that somehow flew under our radar and boy are we worse off for it.” It’s not like I have the pulse on every single thing happening in our city, nor could I possibly do so, which let’s face it, is a champagne problem to have to sort through so much goodness that you miss something. And miss we did with Douglas Douglas‘ album Amigos, which channels all the lo-fi goodness that feels missing from too much indie pop. This is dreamy music, a little rough around the edges and rightfully so. You listen to this warts and all, an honest and earnest enterprise that sees multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Nathan Douglas softly crooning into the void. Tape hiss and static are key figures in the album, which makes for an intimate atmosphere.

Expect no flash or bombast. The guitars chime and shimmer with a glossy sheen of mesmerizing chorus, a trembling kind of twee sound that informs the overall affair. You can hear that in the downtempo Ben in the Ninth House, a relaxed and relaxing number that plays to the bands strengths. It’s that atmosphere building where the project excels, dabbling in ambient, if only from the smooth pacing of the songs and emptiness between the notes as found on Alley or opener Bedside Hologram both of which have a melancholic glory. Still, other tracks like True Heat or Trash Beach has a pensive sweetness that never comes off as cloying or saccharine. This is the kind of the record that you just coast too, floating along with your eyes half closed and your mind open to whatever might come.

All told, this is a remarkably cohesive album with a lot of charm. There is a Kurt Vile or Hope Sandoval And The Warm Inventions, just chilled out, head in the clouds music, with an easy pace and a baroque grace. The fact that Cody Johnson of Soft Self Portraits plays on this, should tell you what you need to know, that this is mellow gold at it’s absolute finest. Listen below and get mild.