Memoryhouse: A Blissed-Out And Beautifully Murky ‘Heirloom’

Memoryhouse – “Heirloom” from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

Just came across Memoryhouse today when I read that they have signed with Sub Pop. I can’t say I’ve heard too much about this Toronto pop duo just yet, but they seem to be wading in the same waters as labelmates Beach House and Papercuts. That is, they play gorgeous, blissed-out dream pop filled with reverb, washed out vocals and crisp guitars that cut through the murky beauty.

While their Sub Pop debut isn’t due for awhile, check out this fantastic video for the song “Heirloom” — directed by Jamie Harley that uses old footage from Morocco and London shot back in 1968 for some film called Home Movie. I love the blasted out colors and grainy footage from what looks to be 16mm stock. It works very nicely with the mood of the song.

I look forward to hearing more from this band this year.

Admiring The Art Design Of Broken Bells

Last year’s album from Broken Bells — a collaboration between Danger Mouse (aka Brian Burton) and The Shins’ James Mercer — was among my favorite records of the year. It was such a great mix of psychedelic pop instrumentation, Spaghetti Western soundtracks and electronic experimentation, but done in a way that was still very approachable. The record was definitely a grower though, as it took time to listen and dig in to all the layers going on under Mercer’s voice.

One of the other things I have loved about Broken Bells is the visual aesthetic of their record cover art. The cover art for the band’s full-length debut — as well as for the singles “The High Road” and “The Ghost Inside” — was designed by Atlanta-based artist Jacob Escobedo, who has also done work for Gnarls Barkley and the Dark Night of the Soul album.

All the images have a cohesive design and color palette, clean typography and a worn-in feel that makes each cover look like an old waterlogged record discovered in a forgotten bin down in the basement. As I said in my round up of the best album art of 2010, “the imagery is both cosmically alien and antiquated, as if it’s what we imagined the future to look like in 1973.”

The band just announced a new EP, Meyrin Fields, that continues this trend and works just beautifully. You can hear a track from the EP over on the All Songs Considered blog at NPR Music.