I’ve got a few free moments today, so I’d thought I’d try my hand at a quick post. It’s been a few days. I’ve been fairly busy. And the fires in Southern California are causing my allergies to flare up, hence scrambling my thoughts and making me spacey. So sitting down and contributing my latest thoughts to my current musical whims isn’t the highest priority. But like I said, I’ve got a few moments, so I’ll give it a go.
I’d originally intended to start with “Venetian Screens,” a bass-driven bit of shadowy dream-pop nostalgia from Pacific North Westerners CCFX. And I still plan to include it. But I kinda wandered into an alternate track from the same 2017 eponymously titled EP, “The One to Wait,” which completely captured my attention. So that’s where I’ll begin.
I’ve been trying to figure out what this one reminds me of. It’s got hints of new wave and goth, particularly in Mary Jane Dunphe’s wavering vocals, at once airy and effervescent, the next drowning in inhalations of breathless swallows. The guitar bits slip and glide through a country-twanged dream-pop, with synths plucked from an ’80s pop culture teen romance. And there’s a shuffle beat that underlines the whole affair, recalling Manchester’s early ’90s Madchester percussive dance-oriented flips and flops.
It’s a wild, eclectic mixture that never quite goes the way you think. And that’s how it grabbed me.
Apparently, back in ’17, a mere two years ago, “The One to Wait” got all the critical raves in the indie circuit, all of which I managed to inexplicably and unintentionally avoid. Guess that’s my loss. But I found it today, so there’s that.
I also managed to skip notice of the two Olympia-based (as in Washington) indie groups that comprise CCFX, synth-based, gothic-laced duo CC Dust and pop-oriented semi-post-punk outfit Trans FX, neither of which I’ve heard of until today. Dunphe, hails from the former, along with main collaborator David Jaques, and her partners in crime Chris McDonnell and Mirče Popovic arrive from the latter.
Both acts are interesting enough, although I think I’ve taken more of a shine towards CC Dust. They seem a little closer in spirit and sound to CCFX, yet of course, they’ve got a different vibe that’s a little rougher around the edges. But if you’re curious about either, they’re both readily available on Spotify and other streaming sources. No embeds on these for today, since my fixation is firmly fixated on CCFX.
On that note, here’s “The One to Wait” for your listening pleasure.
“The One to Wait” from the 2017 EP release “CCFX.”
As promised, I said I’d include “Venetian Screens” after I dealt with my thoughts on “The One to Wait.” After all, it’s the sonic seed that kickstarted this particular post … which, admittedly, I’ve been composing piecemeal throughout the day. Turns out that my free moments are spaced apart in smaller and spacier increments than I planned, so hopefully there’s some cohesion to what I’m writing.
Anyway, “Venetian Screens” is a pretty nifty blast of nostalgic retro-glitter dream pop, complete with jangly guitars, Hammond organ-styled keys, a chugging locomotive rhythm, and a warm, thick bassline. It’s more straightforward than “The One to Wait,” which isn’t a bad thing at all. And it features the softer ethereal side of Dunphe’s vocals.
It kinda feels like modern interpretative ’50s doo-wop with a lightly basted paisley new romanticism … and maybe a very slight hint of goth. I wouldn’t quite call it psychedelic, but it does have a bit of the kaleidoscopic. And it feels vintage and contemporary, all at once.
Here’s “Venetian Screens” from CCFX.
“Venetian Screens” from the 2017 EP release “CCFX.”
That’s all for today/tonight. Until next time …