FRIDAY, MARCH 09, 2012|
Posted by: Carianne Hixson
Being in a band was not the goal Memoryhouse members Denise Nouvion and Evan Abeele had envisioned before their semi-unintentional birth in 2010. Nouvion began began as a photographer and Abeele was a recent music school grad. A friendly collaboration between the two-- where Abeele would create instrumentals as background music to Nouvion's short films and photo exhibits-- morphed into something much bigger. Now, Nouvion's vocals have a home in the mix of Abeele's minimalist (classically trained) instrumentals, and their first studio album The Slideshow Effect, is the result of their combined efforts.
After their EP The Years was re-released as a cleaner version of the original, and criticized for that reason, you'd think Memoryhouse would quit cleaning up their act so much. But, The Slideshow Effect feels more like a prequil to The Years than anything else, and for that reason, it misses the mark. Their lo-fi sound interwoven with Abeele's guitar strumming isn't enough to keep this album from sounding like a white noise sleep machine. It doesn't help that Nouvion's voice doesn't change octaves on all ten songs. The lush instrumental production is a redeeming quality, and songs like "All Our Wonder," prove that Denise's vocals certainly aren't bad. "The Kids Were Wrong," is the most upbeat tune, livening up a predominantly torpid album.
It seems the biggest fault here is that the level of energy from both vocals and instrumentals is equal-- And if the album were a person, they'd be very lethargic. There is an obvious talent level on both parts, but Nouvion's attempt to translate her passion for photography into her music via lyrics may have been taken too literally and it might simply take more time to perfect both arts. Within the very set, dream-pop genre, Memoryhouse will certainly make (and has made) waves and catching the attention of that genre's listeners. The Slideshow Effect is nothing less than a harmlessly, ear-pleasing album.