SPC ECO has released their new album 'Calm', which follows their 'Under My Skin' EP, released earlier this year.
If the demise of ground-breaking duo Curve was a storm-cloud in the musical skies of the 90’s, the silver lining was that Dean Garcia went on to form SPC ECO with Rose Berlin. This a coming together of an electronic musical maverick and a vulnerable yet tender vocal style and even more endearing is the fact that this is informed by the bond of a father and daughter exploring their relationship and the world around them through music.
This bond lies at the heart of the music, and is something that goes beyond two musicians creating heartfelt sounds and becomes the language of their very souls, a conversation that is often too difficult to be encapsulated by mere words. Like many worthy conversations, Dean and Rose choose their words and make their plans carefully.
“When we started this record in early January 2017, we knew we wanted to take our time with it, no need to rush it out and go with the first ten songs we recorded, I think we made almost 3 albums worth of songs with this one so there are some cool outtakes to add or use as the album gets underway,“ says Dean Garcia.
“We also knew that we wanted to explore the layered guitar side of things that we've been side-lining since the ‘Sirens’ album. This record has shades of our first release ‘3D’, which was recorded about 10 years ago, as well as the current more Bristol-flavoured feels that we love so much. It has a bit of everything we like to hear and record, plus it's a calm way to celebrate our ten years of doing this. Rose has come into her own, she's actually quite good at this shit now, and she even drops a mean bass on this record.”
On the one hand, ‘Calm’ is potent and positively charged. On the other, it feels like a collection of moods, wistful reflections made into sound, barely tangible but emotively powerful expressions. Often with minimal symphonic landscaping and gossamer vocals, SPC ECO have created something that is vast and beautifully pervasive. Psychedelic washes and slightly trippy beats swirl around as gorgeous, gauzy dream pop prevails. But often it is the gaps between the notes and the breath between the words that has the biggest impact.
“Calm is nostalgic in the way it feels like there are vibes from all our previous albums,” says vocalist Rose Berlin. “We didn't limit the songs to one genre instead we had fun and did what ever we wanted. It's loud and trip hop, psychedelic lullabies and It's us. It's calm.”
This year marks 25 years from Curve’s initial release (celebrated with the re-release of deluxe editions of both 'Cuckoo' and 'Doppelganger') and 10 years since SPC ECO’s formation. While Dean still pursues exploratory and unusual musical routes through various other projects, such as S T F U with Preston Maddox, M A D with Monty from Jesus & Mary Chain, and two new remixes for dreampop duo Ummagma, it is through SPC ECO that Garcia is most musically prolific.
Music is made for many reasons and using many tools and inspirations but it takes a bond this close, this raw, this loving, this primal, to truly make music that resonates this deeply. SPC ECO 'Calm' is out now and available directly via the band's own Bandcamp.