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All Good Dreamers Pass This Way

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Album Review

If Elliott Smith were still alive and decided to get together and jam with Neutral Milk Hotel, the results might sound a lot like this self-described "romanticore" quintet. Based in Los Angeles, Bedroom Walls crafts dreamy, bittersweet songs that balance a knack for catchy indie pop melodies with a deeply rooted fondness for melancholy moods that recall experimental bands ranging from early Pink Floyd and Talk Talk to Sigur Rós. "You say you've laughed enough/Your closet's stuffed with last year's blues/But you know by summertime/Your suicide's just last year's news," frontman Adam Goldman sings in his airy, high-pitched tenor on the opening "In Anticipation of Your Suicide," and it's difficult not to hear Smith's ghost in lyrics about "records always spinning clues you know you want all to know." It's a haunting beginning to an impressively ambitious album that draws you in immediately and completely captivates from start to finish. Horns, retro organs, vibraphones, glockenspiels, strings, and barely ambient noises all find their place in the band's lushly arranged patchwork of sound. They make fabulous use of dynamics to maximize the emotional impact of a song like "Six Weeks in the Imperial Garden," which veers from passages of aching minimalist beauty to monolithic riffs that lumber and roar, while "Mandy" is a sweet ballad with folk roots and the string-laden "Hello, Mrs. Jones" is a beautifully bizarre rumination on young love. Every track here is positively delightful, but it doesn't get any better than the closing "If the Storm Breaks and You're at Home," a stripped-down acoustic number that sounds like Bright Eyes covering a Damien Rice tune, with Goldman and Melissa Thorne's gorgeously sad harmonies sounding like the wistful angels that must come to visit you as you drift off into a narcotic-fueled endless slumber. All in all, All Good Dreamers Pass This Way is a strange, sensational record that will captivate you from the first listen.


Formed: 2001 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Adam Goldman (guitar/vocals), Kris Canning (bass), Sean Hoffman (guitar), Vanessa Kaufman (drums), and Aurisha Smolarski (violin) compose the romanticore sounds of Bedroom Walls. The bandmembers themselves coined the term romanticore to describe the dreamy, bittersweet, and sometimes moody atmosphere surrounding the sound of this Los Angeles-based indie rock group. In 2002, engineer Rafter Roberts (Black Heart Procession, GoGoGo Airheart, the Album Leaf) joined Bedroom Walls at Singing Serpent Studios...
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All Good Dreamers Pass This Way, Bedroom Walls
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