Release Date: Nov 21, 2011
Record label: Village Green
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
A “husband/wife dream-pop duo from Portland, Oregon”. An instrumental opener called ‘[b]Chasing The Wind Catching The Shadows[/b]’. A first line that goes “[i]I lie awake, dreaming of landscapes and the rain[/i]” (‘[b]Aviary[/b]’). Yeah, I know, there is a hell of a lot of that kind of thing about at the moment, but the simple fact is [a]Mint Julep[/a] are just great at doing it.
Best known for his neo-classical soundtracks to various TV adverts and his ambient brand of electronica under the guise of Helios, composer and multi-instrumentalist Keith Kenniff adds another string to his bow by joining wife Hollie for yet another side project, Mint Julep. Utilizing his filmic experience, their debut full-length album, Save Your Season, is a lushly cinematic affair drenched in reverb-laden psychedelics, shimmering shoegazing hooks, and floaty ethereal synths, but it's Hollie's detached yet fragile vocals that set this apart from his usual instrumental chillout fare. On the more melodic offerings, such as the trippy synth pop of the title track, the hazy atmospherics of "Stay" (one of two tracks that also appeared on 2009's Songs About Snow EP), and the seductive dance-rock of "Aviary," they recall the deadpan '90s indie pop of Saint Etienne and Dubstar, while the girl group-does-indie disco of closer "Why Don't We," the gloomy early Depeche Mode-esque "To the Sea," and the jittery electro of "No Letting Go" are convincing forays into nu-synth territory.
Under the names Helios and Goldmund, Keith Kenniff has made ambient instrumental music for synthesizers and piano. For his latest project, Mint Julep, he has applied those sounds in the context of “shoegaze” or “dreampop” music. His wife, Hollie, handles lyrics and vocals. There seems to be no shortage of acts making pretty, moody music with synthesizers, sequencers, guitars, and effects units these days.
Mint Julep's Keith Kenniff has a rather impressive history of scoring adverts, with clients ranging from O2 and Canon to Apple and Toyota via the trailer for Revolutionary Road. So if you notice a car or phone or Kate Winslet movie throwing itself at you all diamante piano and bowed guitar like it's the glory of freaking God revealing itself between episodes of The Only Way Is Essex… chances are that Kenniff a.k.a. Goldmund a.k.a.