Absence of Ocean’s “Dream House” opens without color, lowering you into the desolate gloom of an endless, grayscale drift dive: the stark contrast of black and white melted away into a wavering, grainy approximation of the two. It’s a slow but decided free fall into a leaden ocean, spiraling away from the bleak light of an overcast sky and the water’s surface with each pulse of the drum machine. A permanent descent into a violently echoed and distorted abyss, clouded not by the manic dread of drowning but with the calm acceptance of the lack of oxygen.
And in those final moments as your brain succumbs to carbon dioxide poisoning, the immutable depth softens to reveal brain dead hallucinations that resolve the nothingness into a languid tapestry of faded neon lights. Waves that slowly fade away in a blurry halo of vision, only to be taunted by one last glimmering shine of color in the final seconds of the song.
It drones and moans but never becomes stagnant, an impressive soundscape for the modest five-minute run time allotted to this particular ambient-dream-pop gem. If you’d like to check out more from this Atlanta based group, I would direct you to their Bandcamp page as well as WUOG’s Bandcamp page that features a recording of their excellent Live in the Lobby recording.