The new project from multi-instrumentalist Nick Garcia (Weekend Atlas, Dog Apollo) is a dead nuts, dream-pop affair. Lost Club’s eponymous EP features four worthy tracks.
Over the course of its 20-minute trajectory, Phantasmagoria, with its retro (but not cripplingly anachronistic) energies, maintains its partly cloudy atmosphere. “Breakfast Club” sets the tone. Following an 80s, gated-reverb drum machine roll, Garcia intones, “It’s 1980…” and the synths and melodic bass guitar evoke all things from the pastel decade that gave us a neon reality of Reagan, cocaine nosebleeds, digital everything, and (some) good music.
“Black Dress” layers a bed of gurgling, sparkling electronics over a ballad beat; “Easy Love” ups the dose on syncopated synths, bass, and guitars, impressively swirling atop a four-on-floor beat, while “Keep Me (At A Distance)” closes out the record, driven by some solid Johnny Marr/The Smiths style strumming. Yet Garcia’s production, soft-mellow vox, and prominent bass guitar on Phantasmagoria point to a different Mancunian influence: New Order. Rather than aping that legendary band, Garcia tastefully evokes similar elements in offering something altogether new.
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