Memoryhouse - The Slideshow Effect (2012)
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Memoryhouse's The Slideshow Effect: A Dreamy Portrait of Love and Loss
Memoryhouse is a Canadian duo that started as an art project, combining photography and music to create atmospheric and cinematic soundscapes. Their debut album, The Slideshow Effect, released in 2012 by Sub Pop Records, is a collection of dream-pop songs that explore the themes of memory, nostalgia, and the end of a relationship.
The album's title refers to the technique of animating still images with zooming and panning effects, creating a sense of motion and emotion. The songs on The Slideshow Effect are like snapshots of different moments in a romance, from the initial attraction to the inevitable breakup. The lyrics are often vague and impressionistic, leaving room for interpretation and personal connection.
The music is composed by Evan Abeele, who plays guitar, piano, synthesizer, and other instruments, while Denise Nouvion provides the vocals and the photography. The production is clear and crisp, avoiding the excessive reverb and distortion that often characterize dream-pop. The sound is warm and inviting, with gentle melodies and harmonies that evoke a sense of nostalgia and longing.
The album opens with \"Little Expressionless Animals\", a song inspired by a David Foster Wallace short story of the same name. The song sets the tone for the album, with Nouvion singing about a couple who are \"lost in translation\" and \"living in a dream\". The song features a violin solo by Wendy Gray that adds a touch of melancholy.
The next track, \"The Kids Were Wrong\", is one of the highlights of the album. It is a catchy and upbeat song that contrasts with the lyrics, which express regret and disillusionment with growing up. Nouvion sings: \"We grew up too fast/ And now there's nothing to believe/ And reruns all become our history\". The song also features a drum machine that gives it a retro feel.
\"All Our Wonder\" is another standout track, with a soaring chorus that showcases Nouvion's voice. The song is about holding on to the memories of a happier time, before everything changed. Nouvion sings: \"We can't go back/ But we can remember/ All our wonder\". The song has a cinematic quality, with a lap steel guitar by Nick Zubeck that adds a touch of drama.
\"Punctum\" is a slower and more introspective song, named after a term coined by French philosopher Roland Barthes to describe the element in a photograph that pierces the viewer emotionally. The song is about looking at old photos and feeling the pain of what was lost. Nouvion sings: \"It's not enough/ To live your past through photographs\".
\"Heirloom\" is another slow and atmospheric song, with a haunting piano melody and ethereal vocals. The song is about inheriting something from a loved one who has passed away, and feeling their presence through it. Nouvion sings: \"You left me something/ An heirloom/ I can feel you in this room\".
\"Bonfire\" is one of the most emotional songs on the album, with Nouvion singing about burning old photos in an attempt to erase the past. The song has a powerful chorus that expresses anger and frustration: \"I threw your pictures in the pool/ I watched them sinking down/ I threw your pictures in the fire/ I watched them burn\". The song also features another lap steel guitar solo by Zubeck that adds intensity.
\"Pale Blue\" is a more upbeat and optimistic song, with Nouvion singing about finding hope and beauty in the world. The song has a catchy chorus that repeats: \"Everything is pale blue\". The song also features a vibraphone by Abeele that adds a playful touch.
\"Walk With Me\" is another catchy and upbeat song, with Nouvion singing about taking a walk with someone she loves. The song has a simple but effective chorus that repeats: \"Walk with me\". The song also features an organ by Abeele that adds a cheerful touch.
\"Kinds Of Light\" is another slow and atmospheric song, with Nouvion singing about different types of light that illuminate her life. The song has a poetic quality, with lyrics such as: \"The light from your eyes/ Is like fireflies ec8f644aee