Last month we told you about ‘Providence’, the new single from Portland’s Little Star, describing a track that “combines intimate bedroom pop and 80s college rock, with elements of shoegaze thrown in for good measure—resulting in a song that blends emotion and deadpan observation”. The track was the lead single from a new EP, Even In Dreams, which is being released by Hidden Bay and Good Cheer Records, and today we have the pleasure of presenting the EP in full, ahead of its release on Friday.

Following the retro-pop sound of ‘Providence’, the album is wrapped in a distinctive atmosphere, a kind of hazy strangeness that channels The Cure, or even The Smiths, though with some of Morrissey’s gloom switched out for an odd weightlessness. ‘Jacks’ is probably the best example of this, the downcast nature of the lyrics buoyed upon the almost psychedelic instrumentation, the sadness ultimately trumped by floaty transcendence. Elsewhere, the title track offers a brooding, surreal depiction of loneliness, a syrupy dreamscape where day and night operate according to one’s mood and semi-literal ghosts visit your room, while the aforementioned ‘Providence’ is more upbeat, at least in terms of tempo.

However, the same morose feeling is present here too, the sensation that something has been lost, or else will be, perhaps even before the first hint of separation has taken place. Indeed, much of the release is marked by a sense of inevitable sadness, an acceptance that bright sparks burn out, while still watching the afterimage they leave behind your on eyelids. Fittingly, ‘Waltz’ closes the EP with a piano lead coda or postscript, something in its ambience or timing suggesting an empty room, an old emotion committed to tape and long since vanished, a recording playing to no-one.

Even In Dreams is set for release via Hidden Bay Records (cassette) and Good Cheer Records (digital). You can pre-order it now from the Little Star Bandcamp page.

Album art by Adam Finkelston