Bouquet’s website describes the Los Angeles duo as a “kaleidoscopic pop duo” and that together they have an “immersive sound, blending intricate vocal harmonies with a rising mass of guitar, trembling synthesizer, and pulsations of early rhythm machines.” Sound familiar?
Yes, Bouquet are definitely heavily indebted to everyone’s favorite indie pop Baltimoreans. Do they add anything new and interesting into the mix? Well, what I will say is that this five track offering is certainly easy on the ears, and offers a west coast, quiet morning vibe to Beach House’s bleak, rain-washed memories. “Stacks on Stacks” sounds like the soundtrack to a morning stroll on a sun-kissed urban landscape, with not a single person in sight – its keyboards like rays shining down on black pavement. Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs strums guitar and sings along in a vacant sort of way all across In a Dream which is an aesthetic choice that is still enjoyable, but there’s not much more to it than providing nice musical wallpaper for lazing about on a sunny day alone. On “Over Mountains,” woozy keyboards usher in a song that I would never object to waking up to, but it’s not even something that would be that enthralling soundtracking a peak over nature as its title seems to want to evoke. “In a Dream” is an ominous opener that is looking to make the wondrous keyboards give the band a dreamy space to wallow in, but it’s contains easily the most played sounds on the whole record.
At the very end though, “Falling” raises the tempo to at least pull it out of the goop for an optimistic, breezey track. It makes one wonder though, “What if they just tried more of this?” It’s a two-parter as well, ending with a pleasant, guitar driven coda that’s reminiscent of a ‘60s pop gems. That’s the thing — there’s definite promise in these two. They like great sounds; their heart is in the right place. They clearly like Broadcast, the Magnetic Fields, and Galaxie 500, and they definitely sound like they can synthesize those influences into something new, and maybe even exciting. Or at the very least, they can pull together enough material for a full-length, that sounds less like a digression of Beach House.
One last note – everyone should Google the name of their record before they officially make it the title.