Girl Gaze: Fade Out
It is not clear whether or not it was an ironic intention of New Paltz outfit Girl Gaze to begin their debut release, Fade Out, with a lush piano suite that decidedly fades in to the rest of the album. I would like to think that this was on purpose. The track, appropriately titled "Intro," hints at some lighter elements that will add flourish to the five-piece band's eight indie-rock tunes. Once the album hits its stride, there are elements of "Twin Peaks"-soundtrack-era Julee Cruise (as on the almost-whispered track "Melting") and a chill-wave Nellie McKay, with the arrangements taking notes from modern indie-rockers Spiritualized, Spinto Band, and Cults (as on "Your Eyes"). There's a dash of '60s girl-group swing and harmonies between vocalists Cat Delaus and Michaela Passero. For a debut record, this is a remarkably realized release and the band has a clear working history of their medium of pop construction.