Monday, 21 November 2011
Hollow Pigeons - Birthdays 
Artist: Hollow Pigeons
Hollow pigeons is the moniker of Ryan de la Cruz, a prodigious beatsmith hailing from Toronto. Building on the successes of his first EP, Letters to Kiko (2011), Birthdays mixes the reverb-washed sounds of dream pop with skittering hip-hop beats, amidst other influences, some more prominent than others.
Birthdays is full of the nostalgic sounds of youth; all of the sights, sounds and smells condensed into a four-track EP. The whole listening process itself is not at all unlike looking back at the days spent in the playground at school and at house-parties getting drunk for the first time. All of these memories fade into a haze, just as Hollow Pigeons' beats have already begun drowning in the swampy depths of the brain. Any sense of these events as temporal and spatial go straight out of the window and are replaced by only the thin glossy film that envelopes them.
In this way, Birthdays is this film that is impenetrably wrapped around the body of our memories, any omitted memories simply filled in by reverb, giving a pleasantly ethereal sheen to the days of our youth and washing over the moments we'd rather forget. But anyway, a birthday should be about celebration! And there's plenty of that here. The joyous "You(th)", probably my favourite track from the record, sounds so gloriously happy that the beats sound like a train almost ready to shake itself off its tracks, the vocal sample dances around unable to help itself from playfully pitch-shifting around the place while the hi-hat fades and pans like it's running in circles around the room. Meanwhile, "Lullabye" shows a completely different side to Hollow Pigeons, without unsticking itself from the cohesion that the EP displays; it is the soundtrack to running outside into the snow naked, lying on the grass on a cool summer night getting bitten by midges or swimming in a river in the spring darkness. It doesn't get much more euphoric than this.
3) More Affection