Julee Cruise ‎– Floating Into The Night( wea/1989/reissue in 2014 by Plain Recordings)

13 Nov

julie

Floating into the Night, the 1989 debut album by American chanteuse Julee Cruise, was unique and unsettling upon its release, and today, its impact has proven more lasting than ever. Written, arranged, and produced by maestro Angelo Badalamenti (who handled the music and arrangements) and auteur David Lynch (who co-wrote the songs and penned all of the record’s striking, deceptively simple yet powerful minimalist lyrics), many of its tracks were featured in Lynch’s then-newly airing TV series Twin Peaks — a show which has recently seen reignited attention with the announcement of its resurrection for a third season — and the atmospheres Cruise, Lynch, and Badalamenti conjure here have gone on to inspire countless dream-pop bands, shadowed crooners, and nostalgic spacey noir jazzers straight into the present day.

Listening to Floating into the Night now, it’s perhaps difficult to understand just how DIFFERENT this record was, even in the big, sleek, shiny pop and hard rock world of 1989. As we’ve moved back into frighteningly similar territories with contempo popular music, Cruise’s album is ripe for reappraisal, and as someone who has cherished his original vinyl copy of this LP for a long, long time (this is a personal desert island disc for me), it’s nice to see it back on shelves for younger generations to be able to fully appreciate. This is the real deal, taking Lynch’s nostalgic love of old backroom rockabilly, blues, and jazzy teenage soda shop pop into wholly noirish, synthesized ambient alien forms whilst remaining true to the structural roots of the sounds. It also presents an alternate underbelly to the indie dream-pop/shoegaze scene happening contemporaneously as well — if My Bloody Valentine, Loop, and Mary Chain were the Beatles, Stones, and Kinks of shoegaze music, Floating into the Night was the sound of the scene’s Ronettes or Les Paul & Mary Ford; seemingly more innocent, wholesome, and family-friendly on the surface, but infused with a dark, creeping dread that Twin Peaks so eloquently and dazzlingly displayed during its airtime.

This is a high-point in the careers of all three parties involved, its magic akin to lightning in a bottle, where all of the pieces seemingly assemble in a rare opportunity to capture a zeitgeist. (Now let’s just hope that their follow-up, The Voice of Love, finally gets issued on vinyl after all these years… it’s never been done, and I’ve long hoped to be able to put it on my turntable.) Floating into the Night is a classic of the era, both retro and modern on a multitude of levels (even more so today), and I give it my absolute highest recommendation, folks. (November 12, 2014)(mikey iq jones)

 

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