The Twilight Garden

Like the gorgeously haunted music of bands like the Horrors and Bell Hollow, the Twilight Garden's songs are devoid of ironic detachment, which gives each one a refreshing immediacy, despite the overall melancholic tone of this album. The exquisite "I Am Echo" opens, with a perfect blend of mid-'90s Underworld and Ulrich Schnauss, while "Dead Adults" dips into dark-wave territory, but without the bitter EBM aftertaste. "The Ice King," meanwhile, is like a reworking of dream pop, borrowing tastefully from the guitar style of Fiction-era Comsat Angels. Weaving the aesthetics of ambient music together with icy synth pop and atmospheric post-punk, A World We Pretend captures the feeling of reflecting on life's most painfully poignant moments just after the initial sting has worked its way through your heart.

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