Album #87: Deserta – Black Aura My Sun

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Los Angeles, California, USA
  • Label: felte
  • Best Track: Be So Blue

The debut album from synthy shoegazer Matthew Doty, aka Deserta, came out all the way back on January 17th. It’s a shame I didn’t spot it then, as I was scratching around trying to find new stuff to listen to for much of January.

Taking time out from his role in post-rock band Saxon Shore, the first album from Doty’s solo project is a powerful work. Reminiscent of early M83 in its use of epic, layered soundscapes and glitches (particularly on second track ‘Paradiso’), it’s an exhilarating seven tracks.

‘Be So Blue’ is probably the most like something you might hear on the radio. It oozes the ’80s without sounding like it’s trying too hard, making me picture some boxy vehicle from 30-odd years ago driving through the night and into nowhere. Closer ‘Black Aura’, despite its bleak sounding name, feels like a happy ending to the record, with the computer-aided caws of “hold me in your arms”.

I like this a lot. It’s controlled and catchy, with the hooks staying in your head long after you’ve finished listening.

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