pacificUV continues its modest streak of airy, atmospheric pop with After the Dream You Are Awake, the band’s fourth LP and second on the Mazarine imprint. While After the Dream is the band’s most polished and upfront outing yet, the album also takes the least amount of risk out of pacificUV’s entire discography. There’s nothing really wrong with sounding so nice, but it leaves little want for digging deeper or spending time with these songs.
Opening track “24 Frames” sets the tone with an understated synth melody and washes of static as Clay Jordan sings his downer anthem. The production resembles Telefon Tel Aviv’s glossy, blackened industrial pop, an aesthetic that’s carried throughout the rest of the LP. “Russians” even resembles a prettier take on Trent Reznor’s dark “pop” project How to Destroy Angels, without the misleading air of violence and destruction. As the most outgoing and poppy tune here, “Christine” bubbles through like a practiced Phoenix demo.
“I Think It’s Coming” is by far the best track here, recalling the band’s brightest era with gradually building action soundtracked with elegant post-rock sonics. Laura Solomon delivers her vocals with a coldly charming coo perfect for the end-of-the-world imagery. “Run” picks up the pieces left behind by “I Think It’s Coming,” dissolving into a wordless drift of Eluvium-esque ambiance and Japancakes-style stringed post rock. The song is easily one of the shortest on After The Dream, but paints a melancholic picture brimming with nostalgia for the band’s earliest material. 3 out of 5.