Museyroom take their name from Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, in which the word refers to an alternate dimension. It’s safe to say that the name’s been earned; listening to Museyroom is an immediately captivating, immersive experience. The trio, currently split between Brooklyn and Philadelphia, released their debut EP in 2009 after nearly six years of collaboration and experimentation amongst themselves, and it’s clear that the time they’ve spent developing their multitude of sounds has paid dividends. They’ve termed their style of psych pop “future nostalgia,” rolling their penchant for folk guitar and 50s pop harmonies into complex electronic compositions.
Their debut full-length Pearly Whites is dazzling and remarkably polished—well worth the years of work leading up to its release. Museyroom have employed just about every instrument imaginable to create a field of lush and clear sounds, including the occasional field recordings of chirping birds and ocean waves. Opening up on a wash of deep organ, the first track clears out to a guitar and Jack Donovan’s haunting vocals: “Someday, maybe, these things won’t have fangs that pierce my skin.” His singular voice breaks out into a stream of harmonies that evoke Animal Collective against the backdrop of off-center drums and whirring synths—while the harmonies on the song that follows lie distinctly more in the way of folk, with delicate piano lines and careful fingerpicking for a frame. These woodsy sounds lead into a rush of deep electronic voices that propels us into the next melody, setting a precedent for the bleeding of synth washes from one track to the next on the remainder of the album. Jumps from electronic to acoustic and back are seamless—Museyroom possess a special versatility that only three years of writing by a seasoned band can induce. Crucially, they also have a special kind of heart and emotional intensity to match their instrumental finesse. The three wrote the record when each of them was living in a different city, and they note that a kind of nostalgia and romanticism made its way into the writing as a consequence of their separation. This emotionality comes through especially on tracks like “Siren End,” where the lead vocal melody is protracted and wistful over the murmur of a distant second voice. Like the others, though, this song sprouts into something bigger than the feeling it initially suggested, this time with warm jazz arpeggios heralding an eventual sense of calm.
Pearly Whites will be out digitally and on vinyl March 25 via Grind Select—and on the same day Museyroom will launch an interactive website with stunning visuals to accompany the songs. You can stream the album in full below.