Music We Love: Ethereal & the Queer Show's album "FAIRY SUPER CRYSTAL BLUE"
In the age of bleep bloops, alien babes, and glitch pop from outer space, a lot of music can sound like it came straight from the cloning machine. However, in the case ofJulianna Dietrich & Dan Hill, the voice & electronics behind Ethereal & the Queer Show, it's just their chance to show you that their presence orbits around infectious electronica like a binary star while the rest of the competition crashes & burns. Their album, FAIRY SUPER CRYSTAL BLUE, harkens back to Visions-era Grimes, Holly Herndon, & the Zelda games your sibling left running during dinner time; all pleasant, familiar sounds that make for musical success.
The album kicks off with the short but sweet “Pleasant Meadow (experimenting w/ Psychic Powers in the dark)” luring you into the E&TQS world with addictive piano chords, ticking clocks, and Dietrich's fairytale vocal style. This sets the mood for the record; a peaceful ride on a pink nimbus cloud or a swim in the digital depths. Nothing is going to harm you in the realm of FSCB. You're going to be baptized by modular pings and kissed by delay.
Dietrich shines through-out the record; not a single off or boring moment within her vocal delivery. While “Symmetry,” a clear album stand-out, brings out her inner Claire Boucher, there are other tracks that really show off her chops. “Freshly X Freak” allowed for such clean vocal highs and lows to show-off the vocal gymnastics over Rainbow Road-like synthwork. Hill's electronic work is impressive with it's attention to microbeats & timing, but it's in the quiet moments, like the vocal-less “Relax.Focus.Sleep” where you find yourself checking back in with yourself and reflecting upon your album experience. He sets you up to palette cleanse before the final track “paradise (unlocked)” where the two envelop you into a blanket of cozy synths.
Of course, this album could not be done if one didn't have the other. Dietrich and Hill complement each other's styles with such talent and grace, you don't sense a single falter. They open the door for one another track after track. My two favorites were “I Want To B The One,” a heavily 8-bit inspired track with “let me be the one...let me have fun” crooned lightly over the layers. The timing of the vocals and samples on this track are incredibly impressive. Just as impressive was “InSomeday Forevr” with the delayed glitched-out effects gaining momentum over Imogen Heap style vocal delay to create an atmosphere you lose yourself in. In the space age music revival, everyone is looking to make music that you take a lap around the sun to, but some will fly too close to it. Ethereal & the Queer Show are creating their own galaxies and constellations that other artists will be looking towards for inspiration and reading their own charts within them.