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Dead Gaze: Easy Travels [Slipcase] *

Track List

>Constantly Happy
>Wait for Nothing
>Running All Around
>Times, The
>Bus Stop
>I Know a Guy
>Wedding Bell
>Tongue Tied

Album Notes

Easy Travels is the beguiling, idea-crammed second LP from Mississippi native Cole Furlow, who has been operating as Dead Gaze since 2009. In the span of just a few years, Furlow morphed from lo-fi fuzzmaster to hi-fi smart-pop hero before landing in the enlightened hybrid world he inhabits on this fine collection. A home recordist with limited gear but ample creativity, he spent a few years churning out a motley stream of tuneful scuzz-pop gems before a chance opportunity allowed him two weeks of free recording time at Sweet Tea, a high-end studio in nearby Oxford. He made the most of the gear and the room, dramatically transforming his sound without sacrificing his style to produce 2013's critically lauded Brain Holiday. Having tasted the audio high life, but having nowhere near the budget for another run at Sweet Tea, he gamely applied what he'd learned in the process and bootstrapped his own home studio into something that could produce similar results. It's a testament to Furlow's craft and ingenuity that Easy Travels is a straight-up win brimming with personality, hooks, and some extremely solid studio craft. The ride starts with "Constantly Happy," a bright, riffy slab of infectious psych-pop that he follows with the muscle-bound fuzz of the '90s-indebted "Wait for Nothing." The buoyant "Jump," another early highlight, represents some of the subtler highs on the album, pitting a breezy vibe with a catchy melody toned down to a resting pace. It's a pattern that he wisely follows throughout the album's sequence. What Furlow manages here is to successfully marry his early, unfiltered experimentalism with the tighter, high gloss appeal he brought to Brain Holiday. Had Sweet Tea been available to him the second time around, he might have still conjured another quality record, but creativity will thrive wherever it's nurtured and Easy Travels is proof that experience and resourcefulness are what count in the end. ~ Timothy Monger


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