Porcelain Raft - Strange Weekend
Album Review

Porcelain Raft – Strange Weekend

It’s getting harder and harder to write a review these days without using dream-related adjectives. Perhaps albums recorded alone on computers in basements, as ‘Strange Weekend’ was, lend themselves well to electronic flights of fancy, who knows. But Porcelain Raft’s debut album is one such dreamy offering. Dreamy in the swoon-inducing sense they used in the 1950s, and also because its sonic swoops make it feel a little out of this world. However, while it does foray into the psychedelic, this album is also tempered with a familiarity that makes it pleasantly accessible, and edged with a mature sharpness that keeps it anchored down to earth.

If we’re talking strange weekends, this album is one for that lazy Sunday afternoon after the excessive night before – soft, grey and pleasurable, creating little twinges of nostalgia and summoning up a few slightly odd memories.

Mauro Remiddi, the man behind Porcelain Raft, marries almost soporifically sweet, new romantic arrangements with passionate surges of drums and guitar in a way that’s surprisingly harmonious. Opening track ‘Drifting in and out’ is the perfect illustration – doing exactly what it says on the tin, drifting from high, echoing vocals and swirling electronics to giant, desperate bouts of live instrumental and reverb.

This is a collection of slightly disparate but deceptively simple pop songs, rendered occasionally creepy by bittersweet lyrics, charming with a nod to another era, or freed from gravity with space-like wails and animal-like squeaks. (‘If you have a wish’ is my particular favourite – wistful and sound-full, droning quietly over an interestingly irregular beat.)

Throughout the album, Remiddi’s epicene voice varies from shrilly high to warmly dark in a manner that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but is undeniably masterful. And mastery is the word here – for a DIY recording, ‘Strange Weekend’ is a lovely piece of craftsmanship.

‘Strange Weekend’ is available from January 24 worldwide on Secretly Canadian. Porcelain Raft has also just embarked on a tour of the UK and Europe.

Share this!