Review: Dead Leaf Echo – Pale Fire

Dead Leaf Echo turned miserablism in to a very attractive art form on their first EP ‘Faint Violet Whiff’. The follow-up doesn’t differ too much from this direction but they now embrace a fuller sound; partly explained by a remix contribution supplied by dreampop exponent Ulrich Schnauss but there’s now a growing confidence evident in this New York trio.

Dead Leaf Echo CD Cover

Guitar and bass lines shimmer whilst LG still sounds more disaffected than a Piano Magic record. The first two tracks are basically moody scene setters. Then on the third track ‘Tears’ the guitars really start to ring out and segue neatly into the even more aggressive ‘Cry The Sea’, forming a kind of concrete jangle if you will. ‘Pale Fire’ itself is the song which seems most entrenched in shoegazing influences; it is awash with layers of guitar effects in a manner which makes Chapterhouse seem subtle. Unsurprisingly perhaps, this is Schnauss’ remix. Much better is ‘Reflex Motion’ where the group return to what they do best: intricate, gothic melodies. Overall, I think I prefer the first EP over this one because of its unusual haunting ballads but there’s no doubt that ‘Pale Fire’ is a development in their sound.

Web Sites:
Dead Leaf Echo MySpace

Further Listening:
Pale Saints, Piano Magic, The Gubernatorial Candidates

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1 Response to “Review: Dead Leaf Echo – Pale Fire”


  1. 1 Michael April 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    I really liked this record, it wasn’t just shoegaze by numbers and there appeared to be a bit of thought put into chord progressions etc. The vocals suit the music to say, kind of hazy, yet forceful in their own way. Add to that the fact there are some MEGA tunes on there and it’s a thorughly enjoyable listen — although I can’t compare to their earlier recordings.


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