After writing the majority of the album 2019, but before assembling a band and releasing the record itself, Brooklyn composer Weston Minissali attended a six-week silent meditation retreat. Though it was technically against the rules, he used the time to tinker with his music. “Composing is always a dialogue between the general spirit I’m going for and the nuts and bolts of which notes, rhythms, instruments, and dynamics to implement,” Minissali later explained. “The latter is so crucial, but somehow feels secondary to me.” That thoughtful outlook is evident on 2019, a dreamy debut full of low-fi, abstract bedroom-pop.
On this year’s 129 Dreamless GMG, Erica Eso has embraced the lessons of home-studio experimentation, while delivering a more sophisticated and collaborative sound via a full-fledged band. Fusing microtonal synthesizer arrangements with haunting vocal harmonies, hooky choruses, and airtight beats, Erica Eso’s are a seamless hybrid between indie pop and experimental electronic. According to Paste, it’s “a falsetto-led dreamscape of color-drenched synth clouds and an almost mechanical beat keeping everything steady and secure.”