Craft Spells | Gallery

Captured Tracks (2012)
By JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  May 15, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars


Craft Spells certainly live up to their name on this six-song EP, with the charm of its effortless, pixie-light production and the warm, plangent harp sounds of their major-key melodies. One can imagine that the trawled-up sunken treasure of their vocals and the wet splashes of their NorCal synths come from a group of amateur conjurers holding it down at a cool-fi beach party. "Still Left with Me" is an up-tempo enough opener here, pleasantly harmonious with perky electro-drums and plucky keys, but never more than just that — pleasant. "Warmth" pits out-of-tune, boy-next-door vocals against a backdrop of repetitive bass patterns and sequenced percussion. "Feels like a paradise," sings vocalist Justin Vallesteros. But it really feels like 1986. The songwriting picks up with a stand-out track "Sun Trails," which really has the best of all worlds — style, groove, a memorable hook, and most of all, fun. But, being retro, Craft Spells risk predictability— after all, since it's already happened, we know how it's going to end.

Related: Various Artists | Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010, Bearstronaut | Broken Handclaps, Avi Buffalo | Avi Buffalo, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, CD reviews,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE UNIFIED MELODY OF SLOWDIM  |  March 20, 2013
    Slowdim drink wine with pizza. It's true. I was there.
  •   THE MARY ONETTES | HIT THE WAVES  |  March 13, 2013
    Hit the Waves is so heartfelt as a pastiche of '80s alternative music that it almost muscles its way into being brilliant.
  •   THE MODERN RETRO OF JESSE DEE  |  March 05, 2013
    On his new record On My Mind/In My Heart , the question is not if Jesse Dee can step up to the challenge of making authentic soul and R&B music in 2013, but rather how he goes about it.
  •   TAME IMPALA’S NEW SURROUND SOUND  |  March 08, 2013
    Whether it's Bradford Cox with Deerhunter, or Dan Snaith with Caribou, or Kevin Parker with Tame Impala, there must be something with this trend in sonic auteurs with cervine band names.
    "It seems like a challenge to make something that you have to pay a lot of attention to," says Josh Dibbs.

 See all articles by: JONATHAN DONALDSON