Hypnagogic Dark Wave From Secretive Australians
Where They’re From: Sydney, Australia
When They Started: 2007
Genre: doomy, doomy dream pop
Most Like: Blonde Redhead, Cameras
Sounds Like: Goblin meets Cocteau Twins
Notable Lyric: “There’s a place in a dream/I would like to take you. Don’t let go of my hand/When it’s time I’ll wake you.”
If Australian band Castratii makes dream pop, the reference point for theirs has got to be that deep, druggy sleep that you struggle to wake up from. Think sleep paralysis and liminal state hallucinations. Their recently released debut full-length Eora is an ambient incubus, much heavier than it seems at first. Listen to the brooding, frayed bass that underscores “Kingdom.” Feel how it pulls you down, even as singer Liela Moss’ mellow Hope Sandovaline voice calls you to the surface. Is your breath getting shallow? Don’t fight it. There’s nothing to worry about. You’ll only wake up in another dream.
Much of the album sounds like the soundtrack to an Italian monster movie from the ’70s, where the monster isn’t evil, just lonely. It’s still kind of scary, but there’s more a sense of unbelievable sadness. See? Weird dreams. But the weird ones are sometimes also the most lovely and haunting.
The trio started as a duo when members Beauvais Cassidy and Jonathan Wilson started making music together in New South Wales during what was a difficult period in both their lives. After adding Moss (formerly of The Duke Spirit) their early recordings vacillated between synthpop and industrial modes, but they’ve been gathering strength slowly and Eora could not be more concentrated and vivid. Pick it up on some nice heavyweight vinyl.