Mysterious and hopelessly sad slowcore soul grooves rising from the bottom of a swimming pool; some of the most inexplicably beautiful music ever to come out of LA. Acetone played to a small crowd for a decade, but their few fans included The Verve, Spiritualized, Mazzy Star, and Neil Young, who all fell in love with the band’s strung-out psychedelia. They made four albums before their frontman Richie Lee’s death, but many of their best songs (including half of this compilation) were unreleased home recordings, which have an intimate, low-lit quality. You can hear Al Green, ‘50s doo-wop, cool jazz, and The Beach Boys all melted together into amber. You can hear the breeze between beats, the wavelike bobbing of the drums, the singing sinking into the undertow. An addictive sound, perfect for early warm mornings and late afternoons. For the last three months I’ve spent the first half-hour of every day listening to this. All songs are soft, most slow. Favorites: 1, 2, 3, 5, 13, 15, though in truth all are great. No FCCs detected.|
1. *(4:04)—Airy, perfect calm pop. Woozy in a subtle way, swings quietly.
2. *(3:42)—Mid-tempo, cool jazz drums paired to understated soul guitar.
3. *(6:54)—Barely-awake love ballad. Takes its time, long outro with whispered singing. Hope Sandoval’s favorite Acetone song, and it’s pretty clear why.
4. (5:20)—So slow there’s a gulf between downbeats. Long vamps on one chord.
5. *(3:10)—A William Blake poem set to tropical paradise mirage music. Almost no drumming. Deep, warm harmonies.
6. (4:36)—A rhythm like lapping water. The interlocking guitar melodies sound like Bedhead.
7. (4:35)—Instrumental. Faded, grainy, a surf instrumental slowed to quarter speed.
8. (5:46)—Very slow, dark, nihilistic, foreboding. Ends with minimalist calm.
9. (4:05)—Bluesy, with deep, laconic harmonies.
10. (3:27)—Instrumental. Extremely languid rendition of the Midnight Cowboy theme.
11. (6:07)—The most energetic song here, hyper in comparison. Chugging beat, slacker harmonies.
12. (4:11)—Swooning, sweet torch song, a little seasick. Heartache music.
13. *(4:41)—The classic Acetone song. Bare grooves, ‘60s keyboard, a wonderful guitar solo that comes out of nowhere.
14. (4:20)—Instrumental. Easy-going ramble, loping but not slow, acoustic guitar textures.
15. *(6:10)—Described in Sam Sweet’s nonfiction novel Hadley Lee Lightcap: “barely a song at all...the music slows as if to stop, but doesn’t.”
16. (5:24)—Especially lo-fi. Thick, deep guitar. A little jagged. Indecipherable vocals.