11 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The gradual transformation of singer/songwriter Sarah Assbring (a.k.a. El Perro del Mar) from retro-pop chanteuse into electronica diva has been fascinating to witness. Pale Fire takes her further into danceland by surrounding her with percolating beats and bright synth strokes, updating her coolly insistent sounds that recall ‘90s-era St. Etienne and Everything but the Girl. If her grooves have taken on a suave sparkle, her lyrics remain on the downbeat side (though “Hold Off the Dawn” celebrates at least a fleeting sense of shared passion). Assbring’s vocals are at once meditative and seductive, hinting at elusive secrets in “I Was a Boy” and conveying an insistent erotic charge in “I Carry the Fire.” She moves to a narcotized dubstep in “Love in Vain” and struts with nervous confidence through “Walk on By.” The title track’s insinuating tingle is contrasted by the dark miasmic swirl of “Love Confusion.” The confessional urgency under the techno veneer of “Home Is to Feel Like That” confirms that Assbring is still a wounded romantic at heart. At once poised and vulnerable, she makes Pale Fire glow with unmistakable desire.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The gradual transformation of singer/songwriter Sarah Assbring (a.k.a. El Perro del Mar) from retro-pop chanteuse into electronica diva has been fascinating to witness. Pale Fire takes her further into danceland by surrounding her with percolating beats and bright synth strokes, updating her coolly insistent sounds that recall ‘90s-era St. Etienne and Everything but the Girl. If her grooves have taken on a suave sparkle, her lyrics remain on the downbeat side (though “Hold Off the Dawn” celebrates at least a fleeting sense of shared passion). Assbring’s vocals are at once meditative and seductive, hinting at elusive secrets in “I Was a Boy” and conveying an insistent erotic charge in “I Carry the Fire.” She moves to a narcotized dubstep in “Love in Vain” and struts with nervous confidence through “Walk on By.” The title track’s insinuating tingle is contrasted by the dark miasmic swirl of “Love Confusion.” The confessional urgency under the techno veneer of “Home Is to Feel Like That” confirms that Assbring is still a wounded romantic at heart. At once poised and vulnerable, she makes Pale Fire glow with unmistakable desire.

TITLE TIME
11

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