by Tiana Feng
Label: Boom Ting Records
Release Date: September 20th, 2013
Appropriately named, Laurelle & Alexander’s debut album Across Oceans has a feeling of being underwater. Synths ripple along like waves in a style that occasionally recalls Young Galaxy’s Ultramarine.
What they do differently is that Laurell’s vocals often ripple with each other (“Roller Coaster”, “Way Back When”, “Time”). Tempo changes and juxtaposition also create varied tension between the duo (“Climbing Trees”).The sparkly single “Moon Kids” is among the stand-out tunes from the album, both members in perfect chemistry. There’s a lot of variation style-wise between the tracks. It’s not always electro-pop sounding. “Pale Blue Trees” ventures into acoustic-pop territory and the closer “Life Under Water” a piece of indie-rock.
Tying everything together is Laurelle’s vocals which is a cross between Raphaelle Standell-Preston from Braids’ gentle sweeps and Lauren Mayberry from CHVRCHES’ pop-style. This may sound like the best thing ever, but I find Laurelle lacks the charisma of both to hold attention for the entire duration of the album. There’s something missing and I don’t know if it will be found in the ocean.