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  Light Years
  XRay Records  
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WL is a trio from Portland, OR. Apparently they pronounce that as "well" instead of "dubba you ell". Okay, i will try and keep that in mind.

Light Years is the second record that they have released, but is my introduction to the band.

They make a kind of mellow, keyboardish dreampop. The songs are spacious, meaning that the recording style they use preserves each instrument separately, allowing each sound plenty of room to work in. Online they tend to be called a Krautrock derived act, and this type of recording style does remind me of Neu!

Pink Cloud starts off the record with a skittering of drums and keyboards trilling. Vocalist Misty Mary sings lightly, her voice faint and kind of echoed. It's a pretty catchy song.

Crossing is a rumbling organy tune, sparse with her voice floating above. The organ drone here reminds me of early American Analog Set.

WL step out to the dancefloor on Feeling Down. Drummer Stevie Nistor keeps up a good clicking beat, and the keys throb and bounce. Mary's vocals here remind me of School of Seven Bells, as the song sways and throbs. The catchiness of this song is kind of odd giving that it is apparently about Mary being depressed. Towards the end, a sax noodles in, giving this a hint of a mid-1980s Bowie feel.

The guitar burbles more on Refraction than it has on any other tune so far on the record., and the drums thud. This is close to a rock song, with a sparking keys too, and then her voice, lost in a haze and over the other sounds. Lovely.

An awesome drum loop starts Disintegrate, the band sampling something that sounds like it came out of an Esquivel tune, lounging along while the keyboards burble and trill. The song gets a little denser, but that beat remains in the background. This is a fun tune of lounge-ish electro pop.

Drummer Stevie Nistor kicks off Mercury with a spastic rumble of drums, deep and varied, that rolls along. Misty Mary sounds younger, almost girlish here as her voice floats among the keyboard layers. But towards the end, WL invite Noah Bernstein to add a sax solo, which again reminds me of Bowie. Huh.

Trash starts off like a Seefeel tune with a wash of keyboardy, synthy haze, but then guitarist Michael Yum stomps his overdrive and the guitar grinds. I like the way the guitar combines with the groovy beat and her light voice. It's a good end to a mellow, triphopish album.

The record reminds me of Broadcast, a hint of Stereolab, and the first Heather Duby record. It's is fun listening.

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