Anto Pascoe is an artist from Christchurch, New Zealand who makes a very literal version of dream pop. On his release To Escape his music often sounds like it's being emitted from the ether of the dream world. It’s not a nightmare and it’s not the type of dream you wish you could stay in. It’s the foggy, otherworldly essence that feels like it is coming from a state of consciousness that most of us experience for about six to eight hours every night.
He opens with “In Love” which combines the guitar and a number of different pads and his vocals. His vocals are indiscernible at most points during the song. I would have liked to hear a little more clarity at least with this one element. Shades of dissonance and white noise infiltrate the song.
“Madame Poppy” is about as dreamy as a song could be. His vocals are wrapped in a long hall reverb and the only thing that feels like it's not floating away is the drums. “A Shadow _ Getting By” has heavy percussive elements which almost makes a groove while “Mercy” sounds like a ball of fluctuating white noise. “Mercy” may be the highlight on the album.
“Escape” is serene and calm compared to the previous songs. It’s a mellow song with some impressive peaks. Pascoe has more success with “June” and “The River.” “Fall To Sleep” is a solid closer which might be the catchiest song out of the batch.
Pascoe’s music is more aligned with acts like Windy & Carl and Auburn Lull then artists you might associate with dream pop like My Bloody Valentine and Ride. To Escape is far from perfect but shows some serious potential. If Pascoe can do some tweaking with the production and tighten up the vocals he could be competitive with some of the aforementioned bands.
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