What I Don’t See by Saigon Blue Rain – 2014

Saigon Blue Rain - What I Don't See - Virus G Zine

“What I don’t see” is the debut full-length album by the French duo Saigon Blue Rain (formerly known as Stupid Bitch Reject) and, as its title already implies, it somehow serves well as a soundtrack to the feeling that every intangible thing around – and even within us – is meaningful, wether it’s sublime or miserable. Such is the emotional grandeur with which Ophélie and Franck have impregnated these ten songs. Building on classical New Wave foundations and touching it with Coldwave and Ethereal rapture triggers, they manage to lead us into a ghostly – although comforting, almost womb-like – plain whose virtual horizons succeed each other like on-screen slides of longing, beauty, gloom, Nature’s mysteries and even joy. This focus can be sensed straight from the starting seconds of the album’s opener, “Queen Ephemeria”, during which some bright chimes of guitar knock around in an empty void, and then Ophélie’s airy, enchanting vocals permeate all, becoming hypnotic in coalition with the down-tempo drum beats and the silky picks of bass. It somehow sounds to me like a collaborative cover version of a Cocteau Twin’s classic, made by members of The Cure and The Eden House while exuding the glacially esoteric charm that sets Saigon Blue Rain apart. “So Cold” is soared to exotic dyzzing heights too but, this time, it happens gradually, like catalysed by the Kashmir-like magic sound of the strings, the deep pounding of the drum thuds and the soulful, floating female vocals. Though, there is a profound melancholy lying underneath its iridiscent surface – where some (duly frosted) reminiscences of All About Eve can be found – which reveals itself in all its bitterness over the third minute. Exactly then guitars ring dreamy, mournful tunes with early The Mission allure and, following that, some dissonant, deathly keyboard chords make the ambient temperature drop far below zero. This flawless, steady repetition of melody and rhythm for the sake of a progressive emotional build is definitely another strength of Saigon Blue Rain…


Read the full review and stream this album at Virus G ►

Author: SGM

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