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Two Sunsets brings together lo-fi kingpins the Pastels and Japanese ambient-folk duo the Tenniscoats in a mostly winning collaboration. Part of album's charm comes from its nonchalance, as if the melodies occurred to the musicians the afternoon that they went in to roll tape.

Opener "So Many Stars" sets the collections’ tone. It’s a laid-back instrumental that hits right in the gut, taking the listener to a place of wide-eyed, wistful reflection. Another early highlight is "Vivid Youth," wherein the Pastels' Katrina Mitchell paints a portrait of growing up over a ’60s pop-lite melody. The success of the album, though, may hang upon the cover of the Jesus and Mary Chain's "About You," as the group shines a light on the Darklands closer, infusing it with a sense of unhinged joy.

Where Two Sunsets lags a bit is on some of the Saya (Tenniscoats) sung tunes toward the end of the album, as her twee falsetto tends to suck the air out of some nice melodies. Still, there’re enough special moments to overshadow these missteps, making Two Sunsets something that indie-pop fans should seek out.

  • Album title: Two Sunsets (2009)
  • Artist: Pastels/Tenniscoats
  • Label: Domino
  • Songs: (1) So Many Stars (2) Two Sunsets (3) Song for a Friend (4) Vivid Youth (5) Yomigaeru (6) Modesty Piece (7) About You (8) Boats (9) Hokoki (10) From on a Mountain Sodane (11) Mou Mou Rainbow (12) Start Slowly
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