Brooklyn lo-fi dream-gaze surf-pop band Exiles are releasing their second EP I’ve Got Secrets Too this Thursday via UK label Dufflecoat Records. Though I might disagree with the sheer quantity of genres they’ve attributed to themselves, I can’t knock the quality of their sound or the level to which it’s been produced. This is surely one of Exiles’ best-sounding releases yet, and it’s the perfect time to hop on board the bandwagon if you’ve never heard of them.
The first track, “Dawn Patrol,” features a ringing, reverb-and-delay’d guitar lead which fits in perfectly among clanging ride cymbal sounds and a straight-eighth picked bassline. Very standard shoegaze song components, but it sets up beautifully for the entry of vocalist Moire Echo. Her delivery is super compelling, and as the track chugs on I am more and more convinced by its fullness and tightness. All in all, a very strong opening track which will probably the focus of most of this EP’s press (judging by its play count). “Love & War” maintains pretty similar instrumentation with a slightly more relaxed feel and an added synth lead to complement a lickety-split guitar riff and playful vocal verses. Not my favorite track on the EP, but a nice variation for sure.
“Photograph” finds the EP settling into a sort of steady midtempo vibe, and more and more I’m thinking that Exiles should be setting up some shows with fellow shoegaze-psych female-fronted Brooklyn natives The Meaning of Life. The last track, “Subtle Attack,” is probably my second-favorite, with cloying/jingling interlocking guitar and keyboard lines that mix pretty wonderfully with Moire’s voice. When all is said and done, I’m left wishing there was a little more variety of feel and instrumentation on this EP – it’s good that Exiles have taken the time to develop an idiosyncratic, recognizable sound, but I think after this release it will be time to create a greater degree of differentiation in sound from the hundreds of other shoegaze-pop bands doing their best to ‘make it.’