We love the story of Dream Diary's happenstance inception as Jacob Danish Sloan and Madison Farmer literally bumped into each other on the street in New York, both dropping iPods, both playing The Smith's Queen Is Dead. That particularly jangly encapsulation of British dreary angst is at the core of the Dream Diary affection and affectation but this time the muted, rain-soaked meanderings are dressed up in gauzy, shimmering pastels, or what is now referred to in hipster lingo as indie twee-pop. The DD way-back machine is set for the late sixties, Phil Spector girl groups morphing into sunny Laurel Canyon folk/rock, then fast-forwarding to brainy new wave and plugged-in, oh-so sensitive shoe gaze.
You Are the Beat, arriving February 15 via Kanine, has a dweeby, smarty pants charm to it, a debut of small if distinct pleasures that sparkle and fizz with an appealing effervescence, dissolving quickly and with mild, saccharine aftertaste. Sloan's songs wink with wry, slightly effete hipster cool -- you can practically see the finger smudges on nostalgic vinyl -- but they're also unabashedly fun and not just in a "name the influence" kind of way. With wispy vocals that sound like they're coming from some poor sap shoved in his own high school locker (festooned, no doubt, with a Morrissey poster), Sloan keeps the pace brisk and bustling, Farmer's mult-tracked harmonies the sweet icing on the proverbial layered cake.
Dream Diary - "Bird In My Garden" (from the album You Are the Beat)