Formed in 2013, new Dublin electronic trio Dear Desert have recently put together their debut release, four-track EP ‘Gift Above’.
Lead track Give It Up opens as a haze of bass, piano and synth. Paced by a regular boom-clap beat, it builds slowly to an infectious chorus, one that will certainly stick with you.
Pharaoh Vessel is led in by a hesitant bass riff. The distorted synth in this track takes over, bringing with it an other-worldly sound. The song is driven by a blurry, listless melody, perfectly echoed by the pensive vocal.
While the electronic soundscape created by Dear Desert is for the most part contemporary, there is an element of it that clutches at a synthpop sound, more like an ode to the eighties. It’s a nice edge that adds an extra dimension to the tracks and gives something a bit more substantial to latch onto.
Supernatural Affair is a more sombre offering – the vocals taking on a Morrissey-style melancholy. The bongos in this track are an unusual touch, sitting on top of the locomotive beat that trundles its way through the song.
Final track Gift Above is a retreat to more delicate form, tentatively building from light piano intertwined with a shimmering repeated guitar note. The incessant chanting of the titular lyric “gift above” takes on a ceremonial and ritualistic tone. Culminating in a lengthy overlapping chorus outro, the EP draws to a close.
Dear Desert have compiled an impressive EP – the electronic sounds are a subtle mix of old and new, the style is consistent and yet each track is decidedly different. While the overall tone is quite gloomy, there is a certain energy to the rhythm that balances this out.
‘Gift Above’ is admittedly a slow-burner, but more engaging after each listen.