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If Just Today Were to Be My Entire Life

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Album Review

If Just Today Were to Be My Entire Life is Tex La Homa's first U.S. release, coming a year after the project's debut LP received strong notices in Japan and its native U.K. It's actually one guy, Matt Shaw, but as dreamy, time-taking types like Flying Saucer Attack and Füxa have proven, it takes patience — not a lot of hands — to make music this deliberately gentle. (Appropriately, If Just Today appears domestically via ex-Füxa mastermind Ryan Anderson's Hybrid Electric imprint.) Shaw has a slightly more direct approach than his peers, offering firm sketches of songcraft instead of elaborate washes of sound. But despite the pop framework, Tex La Homa never rises very far above a detached whisper. The gorgeous melodies of "Closer to You" and "In the Clouds" arrive through a haze of electronic fur, like conversations siphoned from international telephone towers; "Paper Car" is downright Luna-ish, with a puttering drum machine and the plaintive wail of its treated lead guitar line; and "When You Close Your Eyes" runs on a sultry bassline and Shaw's hushed reverb come-on — "Can you sleep at night?/When you close your eyes/Who's on your mind?" In between there's time for brittle dream pop texture ("Never Boring," "Petroleum"), as well as pinging laptop experimentation ("Wrote to Say"). Shaw draws on all these styles throughout If Just Today, but the album's shape is still definable, its sonic signature uniquely satisfying.

If Just Today Were to Be My Entire Life, TEX LA HOMA
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