After a full two years of refining and touring their material 10 tracks have finally come into completion with the Canadian two piece releasing their debut album, The Slideshow Effect, on Sub Pop. While Memoryhouse’s first EP, The Years, was a lo-fi bedroom affair with vocals heaped in reverb, The Slideshow Effect is a more polished product with generally more variety in style throughout.

With the faltering start of ‘Little Expressionless Animals,’ a brooding but fairly uneventful song, things really start to get going with the second track ‘The Kids Were Wrong,’ the first single off this release. Evan Abeele sure knows how to pen a superbly anthemic and punchy song with a driving chord progression and twee vocal melodies provided by Denise Nouvion. Tracks like ‘Bonfire’ and ‘Punctum’ see the band take hesitant steps in a folky direction which may please some listeners but I long for the murky days of their earlier tracks like the gritty and compressed ‘Lately’ found on The Years.

The final four tracks see the band return to more familiar ground with some stunning results; it’s hard to understand why they have been lumped at the end and why none have been released as singles! ‘Kinds of Light’ and ‘Pale Blue’ have something distinctly ominous about them, reminding me of Warpaint’s debut The Fool. These tracks all build to the ethereal final song ‘Old Haunts.’ It’s simplistic guitar line bouncing through the mix complementing Nouvion’s smooth croon as she slides up to the final notes of a phrase superbly before the song surges into a hazy crescendo. Easily my all time favourite song by this band.

This is a solid debut from the dream pop duo which shows promise for the future. While it is a mixed bag for my personal taste every song on here is executed well and even my less favourable songs still have a great deal of redeeming qualities. The band’s much cleaner and intimate sound may divide fans used to their Lo-fi + reverb aesthetic but it is a sound that has been worn thin over the last few years by an army of bedroom composers so I can see the need to branch out into something a bit clearer.