You might know Alex Calder from his stint with Mac DeMarco in Makeout Videotape (2008-2011 RIP DUDE). In 2013 he released his first EP, Time, a hazy seven tracks full of jangling guitars and smooth vocals. Thrillingly, Calder has a debut record coming out early next year, entitled Strange Dreams, and its title track draws on the EP’s most compelling textures.
While the obvious comparison to DeMarco is still tempting, the new single suggests a divergence for Calder into a realm of full-bodied psych pop to which he alone has claim. Like a dream, it cycles seamlessly through varying spaces of texture and tone, with energy running high for the length of the track. Calder bounces from sections of bright, resonant electric guitar, and echoey vocals to murkier moments with plenty of distortion, all the while demonstrating a solid melodic sense.
The verses recall Deerhunter, with quick, alternating guitar notes and a vocal tone mirroring Bradford Cox’s. But Calder’s voice takes on a distinctive tonality at the refrain, muffled as he draws out the line, “I’ve been having strange dreams.” Following this is a clean breakout in the song’s third section, with a high-pitched tremolo sound overtaking the ringing guitars and light percussion before the vocals glide back in. Prepare to come out the other side a little disoriented but totally refreshed.
Strange Dreams will be out on January 20 via Captured Tracks.