Lynch associate Dean Hurley joins forces with German-Brazilian artist Gloria de Olivera on this celebration of dream pop that sounds as if Angelo Badalmenti and Julee Cruise teamed up with the Cocteau Twins for a re-record of “Heaven of Las Vegas”. Magical.
It doesn’t take long for Hurley and De Olivera to emphasize their creative direction here; after a luscious Craig Armstrong-esque intro, they head straight for the Lynchian jugular on ‘Im Nebel’, lavishing haunted synth strings and gusty atmospheres with De Olivera’s deadpan German vocals. This sets a hi-contrast greyscale mood for the rest of the album, that feels as if Hurley’s long-time collaborator Lynch is an uncredited presence throughout. On ‘Ashore of the Cosmic Sea’, those ‘Laura Palmer’s Theme’ synths are fully present throughout, backed up by canned early Cocteaus drum machines and set against De Olivera’s honeyed vocals. The best comparison would be Cocteau Twins’ beloved “Heaven or Las Vegas”, but Hurley never pushes the production into pristine lavishness, preferring to keep things low-key and (somewhat) lo-fi throughout.
‘Something to Behold’ captures the dimly lit Roadhouse atmosphere that Julee Cruise nailed so well on her debut “Floating into the Night”, with bluesy guitar and squashed drums accompanying De Olivera’s smoked tones and on ‘Hanging Gardens’ Olivera makes even more confident steps, echoing Enya against a shimmering backdrop of cotton-wool synth. Elsewhere, ‘Eyes Within’ is pure “Blue Bell Knoll”, and “All Flowers in Time” sounds like a spookier, Liz Fraser-indebted version of the All Saints’ “The Beach” theme ‘Pure Shores’. Lovely stuff – it’s familiar, but Hurley and De Olivera do a good job of making these sounds their own for a short stretch.