Darlene - DON'T LOVE YOU BUT WANT TO
Released: July 7
Creating a bizarre and lovely mishmash of genres lying everywhere in between avant-garde and vaporwave, Darlene's DON'T LOVE YOU WANT TO is an odd little retro-themed journey through airy vocals and synthetic tones that hearken back to the music of decades ago. It's actually kind of difficult to explain what is going on here exactly as it is unfair to simply called it a synthwave or vaporwave album since it does much more than that. This is especially true of the album's structure as a whole, with these recurring tracks all sharing the name of the album as four separate parts, each one building on or subtracting from the previous one in terms of instrumentation and structure. Of these four connected pieces though, I have a particular fondness for the second piece with its particularly ballad-like qualities.
Outside of these four pieces, Darlene takes opportunities to do some more wildly experimental thing in between. There's the squabbling reversed sounds of "Krooblin Quimera" that takes these definitely vapor sounds and squelch them into odd textures and something that sounds like it wants to be a rhythm but can't seem to find it footing. There's also the minimalist and scratchy guitar sounds of "Temporada" that kind of saunter on along with a soft bass guitar that eventually winds its way around to sounding something like a crooner anthem, although a somewhat disjointed one. But these kinds of tracks provide an interesting counterpoint to the aforementioned vaporwave-y tracks, a contrast that seems to set this album apart in interesting ways.