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I Saw You Coming Back to Me

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Album Review

Low-key, softly twangy, contemplative in a sort of swinging fashion — these are not necessarily the types of things ascribed to most acts in Los Angeles, but there's always room for surprises. If not quite as minimally hushed as Mazzy Star or the like — though especially toward the end the band gets close — Bedroom Walls aims at and pretty well finds the kind of gentle sway-along rock that isn't slowcore but isn't rocking out as such. The best local point of comparison might be Spain, but maybe more the slightly peppier third album instead of the slowest of slow-burn earlier efforts. That the opening song "Do the Buildings and Cops Make You Smile?" sounds more like an end of the evening wrap-up — Bowie's "Rock and Roll Suicide" tempered down and placed at the start of a record — seems appropriate enough as a result. Lead singer Adam Goldman sometimes distorts his voice, sometimes lets it through more clearly, isn't whispering but isn't trying to shout either, and as such readily matches the music on display as well. Many times he just stands aside for the whole band to take over everything as instrumentals, often to fine effect. Sometimes the just jet-set/sci-fi enough keyboards add a bit of post-lounge sparkle to the proceedings, not so much trying to recapture a past as refilter it a bit. Toward the middle of "He to Whom Mercy Had Been Granted," as the song quiets down to a few gentle tones before a final full-band conclusion, they're like strange, calm signals from somewhere distant. A couple of guest performers on trumpet and flute add a sometimes elegiac edge to the efforts (trumpeter Jason Crane might almost be aiming at a touch of Chet Baker's work, actually, though on "Landlord! Watch! Coffin! Angels!" he carefully avoids coming to the fore, losing himself in the mix).

Biography

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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I Saw You Coming Back to Me, Bedroom Walls
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