The Invaluables

“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, your opinion, man.” – The Big Lebowski

By Lana Belber

Summer in Fall

The height of fall may seem like an untimely release for a summery, ambient electropop album, unless you happen to be into escapism – which is understandable when a Montreal winter is imminent. Chicago duo Houses are set to make such a release with their debut album All Night this week.

The album was recorded when couple Dexter Tortoriello and Megan Messina abandoned their city lives for a cabin in Hawaii, where they tried their hand at a sustainable lifestyle which included cultivating food and using rainwater. All Night’s tracks encapsulate the serenity and beauty of cabin life so that we are lucky enough to have a taste of experiences that aren’t our own.

“Soak It Up” has been an early favourite for many, even before the album’s release. It features light, yet engaging percussion and the beachiest sound achievable without actually sampling waves and seagulls. The redundant chorus is forgivable because the song’s true appeal, like most of the album, lies in its immaculately arranged mood, which is one that most anybody would want to be in.

“Endless Spring,” another track that gained popularity pre-release, is a layered gem with summer riffs and, somehow, undertones of ska that don’t sound like a strained addition. The song has just enough vocals to satisfy those who are short of attention span, and is at once melancholic and uplifting.
What the album provides, above all, is an alternative to hyper-simple ambient tracks that aren’t seductive enough for most, and to cheesy spa music that seems to be a last resort for some. It’s mood music but, most importantly, it’s good music. As the sun sets earlier and the temperature falls, we can at least look forward to sitting back and rewind time two months back in our minds, with a little help from Houses.

A few sample tracks can be found on their MySpace at http://www.myspace.com/sunhaus, and All Night can be ordered as an LP or CD online.

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