steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Carte Blanche

"Summer's End" CDEP

Shmat Records

Genres: indie pop, dream pop

Shmat Records
PO Box 1191
Alahambra CA

Jul 26 - Aug 1 2004

The Summer's End EP is a collection of love songs, but, as the press sheet is quick to confirm, it is by no means sappy or derivative.  Carte Blanche, comprised of real-life couple Richard Cranch and Dana Kruse, is much more content to deal with love's more realistic side.  Using a dreamy, lush pop formula, they compose pleasant tunes that deal with every detail of a romantic relationship, from the euphoric highs to the harrowing lows.  So sure, this is a love record - but where's the harm in that?

"Ill Take a Chance," arguably Summer's End's best moment, starts off the disc in fine form - its wonderful, breezy feel makes for an overwhelmingly beautiful listen.  The dreary "Hymn" follows, but the next truly great song is "Don't Forget Love," a delicate, moving slice of cute acoustic pop - somewhat like a Yo La Tengo crossed with Mojave 3.  The drastically emotional "Today I'm Crying" details romance's dark side, while the uplifting title-track closes the disc off in a lovely, Low mood.

Summer's End is a warm, comforting EP with some really enjoyable, dreamy indie pop tunes.  Love songs are nothing new, but truly excellent ones can never be resisted.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 7 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]