In­die pop

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Doug Wallen

Rit­u­als Amaya Lau­cir­ica Ka­sumuen “We could dream it all away,” sings Amaya Lau­cir­ica in Still So Young, a CD-only bonus track on her fourth al­bum. That es­capist sen­ti­ment hangs over much of Rit­u­als, which finds the Mel­bourne singer-song­writer fully com­mit­ting to the lush, shoe-gaz­ing pop that ap­peared on 2014’s Sway. Fol­low­ing a so­journ in Ber­lin, here she re­unites with gui­tarist and key­boardist An­drew Keese while en­list­ing a new rhythm sec­tion: bassist Giles Fielke (Lowtide) and drum­mer Hugo Cran (Dev­as­ta­tions). Though Lau­cir­ica has al­ways sung with drowsy soft­ness, this al­bum’s chim­ing gui­tars and star-dusted keys en­cour­age a new-found sense of the cos­mic. Opener Lit­tle Clouds even rides a se­dated Je­sus and Mary Chain groove un­der what feels like an ex­pan­sive plan­e­tar­ium canopy. While un­de­ni­ably gor­geous, that same spacey crawl damp­ens the al­bum’s sec­ond half. Partly that’s be­cause on the first two sin­gles both band and leader shake off their sleepi­ness with stun­ning re­sults. Anointed with an un­ex­pected bloom of dis­tor­tion, More Than This ex­plores the darker side of dream pop by pair­ing her gos­samer vo­cals with more pro­nounced psy­che­delic flour­ishes and a hyp­notic for­ward push. Yet it’s on the break­through All of Our Time that the al­bum re­ally peaks, thanks to a sigh­ing, nos­tal­gia-steeped cho­rus that could retroac­tively adorn a clas­sic John Hughes film. An un­der-the-radar ear­worm lodg­ing in the head and heart alike, it gives Lau­cir­ica am­ple room to ex­ult with­out lulling the listener into too deep a dream state.

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