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Deserta doubles down on shoegaze optics on his second solo release

"Every Moment, Everything You Need"

Release date: 25 February 2022
Deserta Every Moment
25 February 2022, 09:45 Written by Chris Todd
Operating under the Deserta moniker, Matthew Doty’s 2020 solo debut Black Aura, My Sun was the sound of an artist looking inwards. Every Moment, Everything You Need is much of the same, if not a bigger attempt.

As one third of LA trio Midnight Faces, Deserta (aka Matthew Doty) was one briefly humorous shoe shuffling Letterman appearance away from the same kind of fleeting mainstream stardom afforded to Future Islands. The fizzing new wave fused with Americana proved to be an outlier for the sounds Doty turned to next, their type of glory pop is eschewed for something much darker for his solo output.

As on his previous album, (something closer to the sound of another of his previous groups, the New York post-rock outfit Saxon Shore, who also featured a pre-Father John Misty Josh Tillman on drums) here swathes of synthesizers are in abundance, alongside reverbed barely-there vocals placed deep in the mix, and otherworldly guitar chords, so far, so shoegaze. Deserta doubles down on all these dreampop metrics on album two, Every Moment, Everything You Need. There isn’t really anything to differentiate between the two records apart from an increase in the electronics deployed which give the album the same kind of throbbing pulse heard on those M83 albums from a decade or so ago, fused with the more organic cinematic sounds of Sigur Rós.

Where Black Aura, My Sun was an unassuming kind of listen, as effective turned up really loud to get immersed in as it was as background noise, this time, everything has been ramped up, resulting in much bigger, more robust, in your face sound. The multi-coloured wide-screen sound of "Lost In the Weight" is confident and unapologetic in its ambition to be anthemic, while tracks such as "I’m so Tired" is bleary eyed and world weary, Doty sighing “Guess you’ll know why I’m so tired / too tired to be cool” over huge sounding key-work and euphoric dreampop guitar riffs.

Doty sticks steadfastly to the script so deviations are rare, but when they happen, such as on the heavy vocal processed claustrophobic trip-hopisms of "Where Did You Go" featuring the vocals of Mice Parade's Caroline Lufkin, they prove to be an effective excursion. If you enjoyed the excellent Black Aura, My Sun, you’ll love what he’s done here. Wether he can pull this off for a third album remains to be seen, but for the time being, if you’re a lover of the hazy sound of gaze, this really is everything you yeed.

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