Occupying the space on a small cassette player or the idle thoughts of a sunlit afternoon staring at the ceiling, the SALES EP plays like a short series of emotions only partially explored. Perhaps it’s the general grog from a week undoubtedly filled with deadlines and half-eaten sandwiches. Maybe it’s the listless nights of Netflix and take-out. Whatever mental circumstance SALES occupies, it seems destined for the privacy of our own homes. Which is only appropriate for a band that sounds like they recorded their album in a closet. But within the perceived size of the EP, emotional connotations and all, there lies an inextricably beautiful complexity.
Under the microscope, the SALES EP as an expertly crafted effort in minimalist bedroom pop. Opener ‘Renee’ is a hypnotic swing on a backyard hammock, both serene and disorienting, with lead singer Lauren Morgan’s effortless wobble only adding to the feeling of perpetual motion. The ‘heaviest’ song on the album ‘Vow’ drives home the hopeless romanticism and serves as a testament to Jordan Shih’s masterful atmospheric ability. The chorus a slow-coaster of intensity, effortlessly crashing against the shore, and approaching levels of garage rock, a genre that never seems to echo too far from the coast. The tone takes a sharp left with ‘Chinese New Year’, a chippy inspiration piece paired with all the exuberant optimism you’d expect from a ukelele-driven piece. But don’t be fooled, despite the surface-level enthusiasm, Morgan’s lyricism reflects a rather charming escapism. Only furthering the theme of emotional isolation. For those of us who feel far more comfortable sleeping until noon and saving all our deep thoughts for twilight brainstorms, ‘Chinese New Year’ slots quite perfectly into an afternoon of daydreaming while mindlessly grocery shopping.
Not to say the emotions of the EP are lacking in depth, ‘Gettin It On’ represents the most passionate confession of the entire EP. A melancholy inner monologue that seems to play over a harmless cup of coffee with a lost love. The song swims along into an instrumental dreamscape, a rather deep reflection of mixed metaphors and subtle regret. By the time we reach the closing track, the waves turn delta, and we’re sent into faded floral fantasy. ‘Toto’ is a near perfect representation of the EP as a whole; soft, short, and emotional. A dream within a dream. The album closes with a sopping wet remix of the final track by XXYYXX, but it seems mostly included just to acknowledge the fact that someone ‘super-indie-famous’ saw their work and spent a few hours fiddling around in ableton with the ambient/experimental instrument rack.
In full, the album is a phenomenal effort, and perhaps the deepest 17 minutes of your day. SALES is insomnia-romanticism at its finest, and should you choose to drift away I might suggest setting an alarm, because this is one EP where you might find yourself lost.
Stream the album in full below, and head on over to their bandcamp page and show them some love for a paltry sum.