Keep calm and listen to Memory Tapes. They’re not the actual words Winston Churchill used, but they might as well be true. Memory Tapes, the brainchild of Dayve Hawk, captures the essence of relaxation. On his new album, “Grace/Confusion,” Hawk draws from a broad spectrum of instrumentation.
The LP’s lead-off track, “Neighborhood Watch,” begins with the summery buzzing of insects but soon melts into a swaying groove. The six-minute cut continues to morph as heavier synthesizer lines replace the lackadaisical nature of the song.
Following “Neighborhood Watch,” the tracks take on a more dance-oriented vibe through the inclusion of upbeat rhythmic elements and synthesizer accents. Hawk’s clean and pure vocals benefit from a sustained echo effect that give his work a languid and spacey tinge.
One of the album’s more interesting moments occurs in “Safety,” as the main instrumental is a synth-manipulated saxophone. Distortion effects tweak the sax’s natural sound to give it a quirky electronic sheen.
With its lengthy songs, “Grace/Confusion” stays true to its name. Listeners may find themselves lost in a track, and not in a good way, as they try to recall memorable moments.
“Grace/Confusion” may not make album of the year lists, but it’s successful in its ability to deliver several quality songs that give listeners a chance to escape the hectic pace of modern life.
Overall rating: 2 ½ stars