For anyone who was concerned that the stay-at-home order would dampen the sound of summer, worry no more. The Brazil-born, LA-based musician Das Kope has been steadily releasing sunny shoegaze singles since 2018; his contributions on guitar alone are entrancing. Now we finally see the release of his debut full-length album, Where I Live, a fuzzy fantasy experienced from afar.
“It’s easy for me to find ideas of isolation and anxiety in the album’s lyrics that relate to the feeling that people around the world seem to be sharing because of this crisis. Even though I originally projected those feelings because of my artistic and personal struggles as a musician, I think they’re still very relatable to right now.” – Das Kope
As Das Kope admits, the themes of the new record are particularly apt for the time. (On that note, “Tiger” reminds me of…never mind.) The songs were written in periods of self-isolation, as the artist prefers solitude. He is the sole performer on every track, responsible for writing, recording, and producing the entire record. The process for making Where I Live lends to a unified sound like that of Tame Impala’s Innerspeaker—in other words, it’s a demonstration of restrained oversaturation.
Heavy reverb creates a haze that hovers over every cut from the record. “Fascination” practically rolls in reverse with its deliberately downtempo rhythm. The shimmering melodies lend well to the track that follows, “Desert Dome,” which is one of the album’s instrumental tracks. There are also many moments when Das Kope is seemingly transfixed; on “L.A.X.,” he seeks a new perspective while on “Good Time” he eschews typical small talk for anything more meaningful.
Das Kope gets his moniker from the final syllables of the term ‘kaleidoscope,’ and he lives up to the name; warm hues swirl in distinct patterns throughout Where I Live. It’s easy to get lost in the colorful rabbit hole. Imagination is essential when reality is filled with “complications,” and Das Kope has given us just the place to escape to. On “Meet You in the Dark,” he sings, “I was hypnotized, now I’m inside this song.”