Put Your Sad Down opens with the 12-minute-plus title track, which takes a while to build, but has a beautiful payoff, an extremely skillful hybrid of straight-up dance music and SVIIB-style dream pop. It’s what My Bloody Valentine might sound like if they hadn’t broken up after two albums. The lyrics are straightforward and sexy; “Put Your Sad Down” is the rare song that sounds exactly like what the lyrics imply. The song’s intensity eventually tapers off only to dial it up again with an impressive subtlety and finesse.
“Secret Days” (listen here) signals a shift to pre-Ghostory SVIIB, with a heavy drumbeat and decidedly South Asian influence in the music, and a wordless vocalized chorus that’s pure magic. I wish I liked “Faded Heart” more, however. It sounds like a clichéd remix of a superior song that’s buried somewhere inside, although that core does show the anthemic pop sheen of Abba.
The next song, “Lovefingers,” is a cover of the 1968 song by Silver Apples from their 1968 self-titled debut album. Here the original’s psychedelia is replaced with a spooky, Middle Eastern mysticism with wonderful results. The repetitive pulse of “Painting a Memory,” the EP’s final song, nourishes a hypnotic dance beat with more South Asian sounds in Alejandra Deheza’s vocalizations. It also shows that the band sounds best when they give themselves enough time to let the ingredients of their recipes simmer for a while.
Although Put Your Sad Down isn’t as consistently excellent as Ghostory, it is after all an EP and one with an overwhelming ratio of hits to misses. It’s definitely whetted my appetite for the band’s next full-length release, whenever that may be.
Put Your Sad Down is out today from Vagrant and can be ordered from the band’s website.