The coping of a relationship’s end through the camera’s eye
punctuates the thematic arc of The
Slideshow Effect, the first full-length effort from Ontario dream pop duo
A quantum leap from their debut EP The Years, the ten songs that make up this haunting LP are as
textured and panoramic as the photography of singer Denise Nouvion, who tempers
emotionally weighted songs like “All Our Wonder” and “Pale Blue” with the same
atmospheric delicacy she utilizes behind the aperture of her lens. Meanwhile,
composer/producer Evan Abeele, with the assistance of new bassist Barzin
Hassani Rad, evolves the Memoryhouse sound into Souvlaki-era Slowdive with a dash of The Sundays’ understated1992
classic Blind, evoking a softness
that recalls a more streamlined strain of the magic conjured by fellow Sub Pop
signees Beach House.
But the real draw of this Slideshow is the supple lyricism of Nouvion, whose need to protect
herself from devastating heartbreak through stillness and quiet is achingly
palpable in lines like “It’s not enough to live your past through photographs”
on the lovely “Punctum”. It is a notion that anyone from the elderly widower
fighting back tears through every turn of an old vacation scrapbook to the
teenager lamenting his or her first breakup through the photo stream of the
ex’s Flickr account can appreciate.
And while Memoryhouse might be demographically marketed to
the youngsters, there’s something in the retro-alternative beauty of The Slideshow Effect that aging Gen-Xers
raised on the golden age of college radio might appreciate a little more.
Our Wonder”, “The Kids Were Wrong”, “Pale Blue”, “Punctum” RON