A.R. Kane

Luaka Bop/Warner Bros.

The self-penned liner notes on A.R. Kane’s first release in five years refer to its material as “dreampop,” but the material on New Clear Child sounds nothing like the My Bloody Valentine-style noisy lullabies generally associated with that moniker. Where previous efforts by the seclusive Brit-Asian duo added smeared psychedelic guitar flavorings and slurred pop vocals to an art-rock mix, Child exhibits a polished, lush, Brazilian-pop-influenced sound. This overtly melodic stance is highlighted by the singer’s breathy delivery of lines like “I’ll give you cuddles and shiny blue kisses” on “Tiny Little Drop of Perfumed Time.” While such clichéd romantic fare is ordinarily cloying, the subtle and witty use of slide trumpet and strings on this composition and others, along with the singer’s sublime intonation, make New Clear Child a radiant, albeit guilty, listening pleasure.

More from WCP