Pop Winds
Earth To Friend


4.3
superb

Review

by Adam Downer STAFF
November 25th, 2012 | 44 replies | 5,644 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: i've had myself a weekend

It snowed in Vermont this weekend. The last time I listened to Pop Winds’ Earth to Friend, everything was all wrong. It was in a room overlooking the perpetual rainstorm over Amsterdam, an ocean away from everyone I know and no, not even the best weed in the world makes that entirely okay. So Earth to Friend passed by sort of unimpressively, probably because I was in no mood to be impressed. I’m not great at giving things the attention they deserve. But it snowed in Vermont this weekend, and it made all the difference.

My friends are collapsing around me. We’re college boys, the lot of us probably much more similar to that stupid, sensitive, Garden State indie douchebag archetype than any of us would like to admit. The past two weeks, I’ve watched these guys drown themselves in puddles of their own misery. There’ve been a lot of conversations. There’s been a lot of drinking. It’s been exhausting. But this weekend was Thanksgiving break, and I got away from it all, home to Vermont, where, yesterday, it snowed. I stayed in and watched it. On a whim, I threw on Earth to Friend, and it hit me then. By a fire, watching snow fall, watching family cook, talk, yell at sports, drink, joke, kiss-- that is the right atmosphere to listen to this album.

Earth To Friend is a beautiful, melancholic pop record from a band that died before the record was released. I’m too romantic not to hear the imminent farewell lingering over this album and too sentimental to not separate this read from my own life. Perhaps this means nothing to you but I won’t sit and pretend that Earth to Friend doesn’t resonate with me on a deeply personal level. It feels tailored to this moment. My social world appears to be falling apart. This world will also cease to matter in six months when I lose all my friends to real life. And I am here at home, surrounded by people I love, feeling safe and confident. That’s what Earth to Friend feels like; a haven against external chaos and anxiety, an escape that doesn’t pretend problems don’t exist but spins them into something beautiful. It is the right album for me right now: a marker of great art, right?

And to hear it like this! Open and sparse, Earth to Friend is being played in an empty room to nobody. One guitar will leave a spare lick bouncing off the walls. Vocalists will play off and against each other with the dexterity of Avey and Panda circa Merriweather Post Pavilion. A saxophone appears, not to add cheese, but to… well? One wonders why it’s there at all, but why complain when it is the layer that sends “Sunlight” to transcendence amidst fuzz and beckons of “Get in the sunlight”? This record sounds pristine, not through the maximized, M83-esque style dream-pop of their previous record, but through what it leaves out. There’s not much grandeur, but what it salvages--dream pop’s aching melodies, its terrific hooks and its otherworldly spirit--is more than enough for it to thrive.

There are eight tracks on Earth to Friend, and only five of them are full songs, and if you’re like me you’ll know them all intimately by the time you’ve played the record for the sixth time. The closing, eponymous track is my favorite, and the track most responsible for the tenor of this piece. This is something gorgeous, something I love and something I’m not at all interested in cheapening by dissecting to find an angle. This is something I sincerely hope you love as much as I do because it can do wondrous things. And that’s as thorough a review as I think this deserves.



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user ratings (17)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
demigod!
November 25th 2012



40970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really great review Adam. kinda wanna check this one out.

so is Amsterdam pot really as good as they say?

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

you can hear/download the thing here: http://popwinds.bandcamp.com/

and it's as good and better. I considered myself a veteran before I got there, but my first time smoking I took three hits off a pre-rolled J of white widow and was done for the night. The group I was with couldn't get past a third of it.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins [AMDISCS]

demigod!
November 25th 2012



40970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, that's powerful. around here usually I need to smoke an entire joint to get to a good level of highness.

Then again I've never had more than a small bowlful of White Widow.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

to be fair these things are pretty huge: http://images.smh.com.au/2012/11/21/3811852/art-Netherlands-Coffee-Shop-Menu-Cannabis-620x349.jpg

demigod!
November 25th 2012



40970 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

404

also, the last song on this really is fantastic

Ending
November 25th 2012



1861 Comments


Cool review. Not exactly something I enjoy as much, but to each their own.

PuddlesPuddles
November 25th 2012



4686 Comments


Listened to Sunlight, pretty cool.. Might pick this up. I wish his vocals were drier overall though

Wildorwhat
November 25th 2012



85 Comments


Sounds heavily Animal Collective influenced, maybe a little too much for me.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 25th 2012



9469 Comments


What a fantastic review. The next time I have writer's block, I'll have to read this one again. :]

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

FelixCulpa
November 25th 2012



1236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the vibe this record is giving, nice find and review. I wish it snowed here in Gothenburg though, I hate mild winters, damn coastal weather.

bakkermaarten007
November 25th 2012



3151 Comments


"Earth To Friend is a beautiful, melancholic pop record from a band that died before the record was released. I’m too romantic not to hear the imminent farewell lingering over this album and too sentimental to not separate this read from my own life."
This made me want to check this out.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 25th 2012



23641 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hey look at that! Electric City still exists!

but ps great review, I liked the personal slant. and I can attest to this: "We’re college boys, the lot of us probably much more similar to that stupid, sensitive, Garden State indie douchebag archetype than any of us would like to admit" being somewhat TRUE after our encounter. Not you so much you, but your classmates (who incidentally, I liked) were pretty easily to pigeonhole in to one of a number of uni student stereotypes haha.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

ThroneOfAgony
November 25th 2012



3485 Comments


best quarry pic

Drsmith4
November 25th 2012



1696 Comments


My friends are collapsing around me. We’re college boys, the lot of us probably much more similar to that stupid, sensitive, Garden State indie douchebag archetype than any of us would like to admit. The past two weeks, I’ve watched these guys drown themselves in puddles of their own misery. There’ve been a lot of conversations. There’s been a lot of drinking. It’s been exhausting.

God fucking damn it Downer - you reemerge from reviewing limbo and pen a perfect paragraph that has nothing and everything to do with the record itself. Typical. Salinger's cheering for you from Heaven.

chambered49
November 25th 2012



1727 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

oh
my
god
yes
aoty

Spare
November 26th 2012



5223 Comments


hey you did it

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2012



15693 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

see you in another two months

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 26th 2012



9998 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

see how easy this was downer? more!

Geist
November 26th 2012



371 Comments


Holy shit, Downer, you're from Vermont? Represent. Also Pos because this is good shit.

Captain North
November 27th 2012



6743 Comments


This was a really good review - this is what I expect from the staff here



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