Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Depreciation Guild: Spirit Youth

When the term “shoegaze” is applied to modern indie bands, it usually refers to big, washed-out guitars meant to be appreciated for texture more than tone. But Brooklyn trio The Depreciation Guild—which features two members of indie-pop act The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart—also swipes the less-talked-about twitches of genre flag-bearers like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, from hollow drum-machine loops to tambourines that bob like buoys in a gale. And so, in the same way that the Pains Of Being’s 2009 debut conjured the early-’90s twee of bands like Black Tambourine, the first sensation delivered by the second album from The Depreciation Guild is one of recognition.


But Spirit Youth aims for pop over pastiche, and on that basis succeeds pretty well. Nintendo-synth hooks and John Hughes-soundtrack dynamism splash the songs with a kind of expertly crafted lushness, even while the vocal melodies occasionally lean sleepy. More intriguing is Kurt Feldman’s blend of too-good-for-this-world twee-ness with intense, stalker-level romantic devotion. “We were always meant to be,” he chirps on “Crucify You,” “and even if you disagree, you could never get away.” The lyrics’ sometimes-dark intent is another detail to chew over among the songs’ many fine details, and provides a needed complication on an album that’s otherwise so thoroughly agreeable.

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