Dayve Hawk is a multi-tasker. Over two short years, his work in Hail Social, Memory Cassette, Weird Tapes and now Memory Tapes, has been reliably thoughtful and, dare we say, cautiously optimistic, even in its overabundance.
That said, it’d be easy to lump Memory Tapes’ new record, Player Piano, into the recent chillwave explosion, but Hawk’s in full euphoric form here, sounding like a serene sunrise after a particularly scarring breakup. “Wait in the Dark” – the album’s first proper song, following ambient scene-setter “Musicbox(in)” – is a sweetly brooding cache of a minimal rhythm section and twisted, blippy synth, with Hawk’s distant yet sugary vocals balancing his unique brand of melancholy. It’s a formula that holds true throughout Player Piano; restrained without suffocating, downtown disco minus the cocaine and always arranged just so. It’s a considered piece of work, with no note allowed out of place and no rounded corners to be found in Memory Tapes’ morose, hopeful world.
[Stream Player Piano via The Quietus.]
Player Piano is out July 5 on Carpark Records.