Release Date: Feb 3, 2017
Record label: Volcanic Field
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
When you think of the best contemporary bedroom pop, songs as gently spellbinding as Wild Nothing’s “Chinatown” or as sleepily ecstatic as Craft Spells’ “After the Moment”, you often think of a certain conceit. It’s a conceit undergirding the music, giving it four walls, a roof, and a ceiling just like the bedrooms that this music supposedly emanates from. It’s a conceit that claims some suburban dreamer, from atop a bed that hasn’t been made for weeks, bathed in moonlight, lamplight, or some combination of the two can create vast multiverses of emotion.
The third full-length outing from Los Angeles-based, Italian-born bedroom pop auteur Mauro Remiddi, Microclimate is a dream-like and richly textured collection of sonic ruminations that split the difference between heady chillwave and Scandinavian pop grandeur. Remiddi did his fair share of globe-trotting prior to recording the 11-track set, citing Bali, California's Big Sur, and Barbados, among others, as particularly potent ports of inspiration, and that worldly vibe is established early on via standouts like "Distant Shore" and "Big Sur. " The former, a velvety and propulsive blast of two-lane-highway-ready soundtrack music, and the latter a dreamy dip into the coastal waters of its rugged namesake, suggest an equatorial Sigur Rós, or a less ostentatious All Is Dream-era Mercury Rev -- Remiddi's elastic tenor is often a dead ringer for Rev frontman Jonathan Donahue.
Since he first started putting out solo singles as Porcelain Raft in 2010, former Sunny Day Sets Fire frontman Mauro Remiddi has built a career on an indie/electro/dreampop blend so smooth it often obscures his songwriting gifts. With Microclimate , his third Porcelain Raft full-length, Remiddi grows as a songwriter/arranger while refining the subtlety of his approach. Of course, the problem with subtlety is that it's not particularly noticeable when you get better at it.
Mauro Remiddi releases his gorgeous indie dream pop under the moniker Porcelain Raft, and once you hear his glasslike voice move its way through the foggy surface of his music the name sounds perfectly inspired. With his latest release, Remiddi takes Porcelain Raft into deeper waters, and thus Microclimate is more stunning than his last record, 2013's Permanent Daylight, but further still from his 2012 debut, Strange Weekend. Is that really so bad, though? Strange Weekend is a comforting record that bleeds out warmth and imagination.
Four years since his last full-length album, L. A. -based songwriter Mauro Remiddi -- better known as Porcelain Raft -- has evidently had time to branch out sonically on his new album Microclimate.