Music Review: Vanity Mirror’s Debut LP ‘PUFF’: A Dreamy Journey into Nostalgic Pop Delights

Vanity Mirror's Debut LP 'PUFF': A Dreamy Journey into Nostalgic Pop Delights
Photo Credit: Mat Dunlap

Vanity Mirror’s debut LP, “PUFF,” is a delightful journey into dreamy lo-fi bedroom pop. Released on We Are Busy Bodies, the album showcases a fusion of sweet sixties-tinged melodies and baroque-pop influences. The duo, comprised of Brent Randall and Johnny Toomey, weaves together a collection of hook-filled compositions that pay homage to artists like The Kinks, Idle Race, and The Raspberries.

One standout track from the album is “Somehow You Know,” which also has an accompanying video directed by Fred Joseph of Expo Aktuell Films. The song captures a slacker lullaby vibe, catering to misfits and romantics alike. Its simplicity and understated charm make it an anticipated sleeper hit of “PUFF.” The video, shot with black and white vintage broadcast cameras, creates a dreamlike sequence, featuring the band performing the song and intertwining surreal and romantic scenes with their friends.

“PUFF” continues to impress with tracks like “Tuesday’s News,” a lo-fi masterpiece that showcases sweet guitars, a building rhythm, and Randall’s lovely singing. The wintery lyrics transport listeners to warm, sunny places through charming pop harmonies. Another standout track, “Dandelion Wish,” is described by Randall as a sophisticated bedroom pop ditty for wayward situationships. The song blends soft nylon strumming with sparkling electric jangle, accompanied by playful mellotron flourishes and an urgent quirksome rhythm section.

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Vanity Mirror’s Debut LP ‘PUFF’: A Dreamy Journey into Nostalgic Pop Delights

The album was meticulously crafted by Brent Randall, who handled everything from writing and recording to producing and mixing. He tapped into makeshift spaces while traveling between Los Angeles, Montreal, Detroit, and Toronto, incorporating the unique environments into the album’s creation process. Toomey, based in Los Angeles, contributed drums and percussion recorded in his own basement using a handheld field recorder. This collaborative effort resulted in a nostalgic collection of songs that evoke the spirit of artists like Emitt Rhodes, Olivia Tremor Control, and Belle and Sebastian.

Vanity Mirror has created an impressive debut with “PUFF,” showcasing their talent for crafting hummable, dreamy pop with a touch of introspective songcraft. The album’s digital/vinyl release on May 12th, 2023, marks an exciting milestone for the duo, and listeners can expect to be swept away by the album’s nostalgic charm and infectious melodies.

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