Ray & Remora - 1994 EP
Record Label: Aeronaut Records
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Insofar as debuts go, Ray & Remora’s 1994 EP is pretty damn ambitious. Instead of making a name for themselves with original material, the electro-pop duo of Amanda Walker and Dan Crane mine the halcyon days of mid-90s indie. The duo’s lead single, a cover of Weezer’s ubiquitous “Say it Ain’t So” is hazy, languorous and absolutely mesmerizing.
Crane and Walker are quick to note that the creation of 1994 would not have come to fruition without the duo meeting in Los Angeles and collaborating on a version of Superchunk’s “Like a Fool.” Sure enough that song serves as 1994’s opener and is easily one of the strongest of the half-dozen. Enveloping, intoxicating and one of the only songs in which the two share vocal duties, “Like a Fool” is an absolute goldmine and the first of many instances of just how engaging Ray & Remora truly are.
Other memorable moments include Pavement’s “Gold Soundz” and Dinosaur Jr’s “Feel the Pain.” The former is utterly sexy, playfully magnetic and equally infectious. On the contrary, the latter is slow-moving, ruminative and deeply affecting. Ostensibly an exercise in placidity and restraint, “Feel the Pain” is one of those watershed moments where Ray & Remora separate themselves from the overcrowded lot of Brooklyn electro-pop upstarts. The key to their magic is just how calculated, careful and well-crafted these recreations are. That kind of precision is repeated on the band’s sterling take on Guided by Voices’ “The Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory.”
Being that this is a debut, there’s still some room to grow, most evidenced on the duo’s dull and uninspiring version of Sebadoh’s “Skull” Whether or not Ray and Remora have original material on their docket is anyone’s guess, but for now, these six songs are a charming retrospective of just how fabulous 1994 truly was.