Listening to Meet Your New Love, the debut album from Atlantic/Pacific, sonic references skitter across the frontal lobes like images flashed during a droog’s aversion therapy session in A Clockwork Orange. The Brooklyn duo-sometimes-trio flits impressively from sound to sound with an almost casual mastery, like a brilliantly evocative artist who paints in an expressionist style even though he possesses a draftsman’s gift for photorealism.
Like those crazy blind men and that elusively indescribable elephant, A/P evades all attempts to pin it down to a specific direction. Is it Space Rock? Neo Psych Folk? Ambient Soul Pop? Indie Rock? An intelligent but never overly clever combination of any or all of the above? In a word, yes.
As far as Indie circles are concerned, Atlantic/Pacific sports a fairly potent pedigree. The core duo consists of Texas is The Reason’s Garrett Klahn (in the late ’90s, he was with New Rising Sons) and House & Parish’s John Herguth, with production and musical assistance provided by Rival Schools’ Ian Love.
From a critic’s point of view, Meet Your New Love is a gauzy, soothing soundscape that still crackles with energy and purpose and occasionally volume, as though American Music Club, Belle and Sebastian, Adam Schlesinger, The Shins, Eef Barzelay, Andy Sturmer, the Gallagher brothers and Eric Matthews got together with Brian Eno to do a tribute to The Association, which is accomplished by not doing a single song by The Association but writing original songs, as a group, in a similar yet subtly updated style. So sort of a tribute, or maybe not a tribute at all. Or maybe it doesn’t matter in the slightest, because you’ve been lightly sugared and baked to a turn by Atlantic/Pacific’s swirling IndiePsychSpaceSoulAmbientPop and you’ll never want to leave their kitchen.