Label: Lefse Release date: 04/10/09 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon There is little known about anonymous Chicago-based Houses. Apart from that they’re Chicago-based. And that they have one of those hip, abstract, one-word names. Oh, and that they’ve just released their debut album, All Night. It can also be deduced that they are a blissed out bunch as the album is a comforting embrace of utopian electro which has all the qualities of being hugged by a big, friendly bear (not one of those bears that would wilfully take your head off if it thinks you’re out to get its young. A nice bear. Wearing a hat). The album is an instantly mesmeric experience. From the blissful title track to the bloated swirl of 'Rose Book', the group has clearly made the conscious decision to use good old analogue equipment, making the guitars and keys crackle and glow. There are moments of effortless euphoria such as the wide-eyed 'Endless Spring' and the romantically lobotomised 'Lost in Blue'; the latter a tender smoochfest fit for any hand-trembling bedroom fumble. Elsewhere there is certainly a more commercial bent. These songs are defined by a more coherent vocal instead of the vague, echoed drawl which features heavily throughout; the quiet energy of 'Reds' and the chugging rhythm of 'Soak it Up' sees the album at its most focused. Whilst there is no denying the hypnotic charm of the record its few pitfalls come in the form of its sheer contentedness. There are some surprise, eerily discordant breakdowns scattered throughout but it is the sense of cosmic resignation which can grate. The vocals can be listless, leaving you wanting the vocalist to get off his deck-chair and get out into the real world for some good old-fashioned conflict. Of course, I’m just jealous that I’m out here in the real world and not on a beach in Hawaii where this album is probably played on repeat. What Houses have produced is an uplifting album which, in fairness, should probably have been released over here about three months ago. Very much a summer album, its embers are still sure to glow happily through long winter nights. Photobucket