Dream-pop bands rarely get both sides of the hyphen right. Beach House may wrap its organ-fired whims in a beautiful, engrossing gauze, but you're more likely to bliss out than bop your head along. So it's a comfort that Spectator, a relatively new quartet, makes its recording debut with such a rich, elegantly produced piece of mood music. The songs on this six-track EP reverberate with the plucks of hollow-body guitars and the gentle pulse of warm keyboard tones. Megan Rooney leads this band with a deft hand on the keyboard and an assured, if restrained, approach to her vocals. She honed her craft singing with local Latin-inspired groups, but the only obvious nod to her past comes in the light Tropicalia of "Daytime." On the EP, Rooney holds court with a controlled quaver that has enough body to be the center of songs that are, by design, patient constructions of ambient space and more aggressive push/pull dynamics. Opening track "We've Been Through This Before" displays this artful tension beautifully. Earmark it for your next... More >>>