Boomkat Product Review:
Bursting with bittersweet, memorable songs, Maria Spivak follows her spectacular and highly sought-after debut album with this new LP for Ecstatic, operating at the intersection of blazed synthpop, folk and shoegaze with a sparkling Drexciyan dimension. Real strong gear that comes highly recommended if yr into anything from Cocteau Twins to Junior Boys, Jonnine to Jessy Lanza.
One of those records that feels like a god-sent breeze at the peak of a mediterranean heatwave, on ‘You Win Again’ Maria Spivak builds on the charmed pulse of 2020's 'Met'a To P'eib = Μετά Το Ρέιβ' and its 2021 follow-up 'Rare Backwards' to assemble nine tightly-wound songs that hover at the intersection of shimmering wave mutations and sunset love songs. It's a highly satisfying mix that oozes longing and regret, revealing itself on opener 'Mid Week Ritual' where Spivak's gently auto-tuned voice rides the kind of lonesome acoustic guitar you’d expect to hear on a Grouper record.
On ‘My Loneliness is Healing Me’, she transports the countrified charm of The Breeders’ ‘Title TK’ to the Cypriot wilds, exclaiming in the most sardonic terms that “I hate the winter, and all it does, to all my friends, and everyone I've ever met” over two minutes that reek of wistful sentimentality. 'Golden Boy' offsets jerky rhythms against Spivak's resonating voice like some blessed outtake from Junior Boys’ classic ’So This Is Goodbye’ - the kind of tune that drips with nostalgia from the very first listen, while ’Risk & Chill' and 'No Place Like Paphos' scratch a more atmospheric itch, experimenting with sludged instrumental trip-hop on the former, and tripped arpeggios on the latter.
It's the blurred bedroom jams that have us weak at the knees though. 'Broke Down at the Natural History Museum' sounds like Slowdive at half speed, all reverberating, damaged bliss, and closing track 'You Win Again' runs like a hazed memory, Maria’s whispered vox just about peaking out over pitch-fucked synths and pedalled fingerpicks.