Album review | Electronic pop

Memory Tapes, ‘Grace/Confusion’

In the fields of indie-dom, the trench dug between “pop” and “prog” lies somewhere around the six-minute mark. Solos and signature shifts are no longer prerequisites of the latter; just sticking to an idea until it changes qualifies as progressive behavior. As such, the six songs on Dayve Hawk’s third full-length as Memory Tapes feel like buoyant pop and weighty statements all at once. “Sheila” unfolds over eight minutes, and the gradual changes in its lighting — from soft-focus Fleetwood Mac to flood-lit Pet Shop Boys — come off as scenic, not histrionic. The jaunty “Thru the Field” swerves dreamily between the explorations of Bear in Heaven and the excavations of Boards of Canada, then literally leaves the path to run off into the rain. Sometimes this tension between craft and abandon backfires: “Safety” opens with the promise of showcasing Hawk’s unique control over curveball melodies, but its parts never quite emulsify. Still, “Grace/Confusion” goes above and beyond the call of pop, and signals grander adventures to come. (Out now)


ESSENTIAL “Thru the Field”

Michael Andor Brodeur is assistant arts editor at the Globe. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MBrodeur.
Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of