Picture Book

A spot of sun-tinged musical nostalgia for you today. That’s if a track a year old qualifies for nostalgia? “Sunshine” first cropped up last spring, or maybe even before that. It’s just so long ago, that I struggle to remember the exact date. The 2011 version was beautiful in its simplicity, an entrancing dance beat topped with alluring vocals. The track is courtesy of brothers Dario Darnell and Lorne Ashley, also known as Picturebook. The brothers originally hail from New York, but were raised in Manchester. For the past 3 years they have been based in Liverpool. Perhaps “Sunshine” was so named in memory of something they hadn’t seen for a while…

After the brilliant taster that was “Sunshine” the duo seemed to go to ground. There was no new music and no news. Until a couple of months back. We got an email titled “Picture Book (Feat. Greta Svabo Bech) Announce New EP ‘At Last'”. Quite an apt name really. The EP opens up with a reincarnation of “Sunshine”. The beat and charm of the original is still there, but with added complexity. There’s a sharper, denser feel to the soundbed. The pure, synth fuelled beat has a harsher cut edge. The pre-drops are more delicate, layered with intricate instrumentation. The track is as infectious and immediate as ever, and rather well suited to the climate of late. The rest of the EP shows off various facets of Picturebook’s sound. The vocals throughout are provided by Greta Svabo Bech, who may be better known for featuring on Deadmau5’s “Raise Your Weapon”. On this occasion though, there is no need to wait 5 minutes for a hideous drop. Instead we are treated to far more instant gratification. “Jealousy” is a disco tinged piece. It borders on pop, certainly by todays definition at least. All bounce and energy, juxtaposed against vindictive lyricism. “Terminally In Love” shows a mellow, restrained side to Picturebook’s sound with Greta’s impassioned vocals set against delicate piano chords. The EP closes with “Surrender (Dreamy Version)”. Dreamy sums it up well, hazy, woozy, sun-drenched. The perfect soundtrack for a surreal summers eve.

Buy the EP here. Listen to it below. Where you can also download the 2011 version of “Sunshine”. Oh, and there’s a seriously cool acoustic version video above. Enjoy.

Picturebook – Sunshine (Demo) [right-click to download]