Vanity Mirror - PUFF
The Big Takeover: Album Premiere
Vanity Mirror, dreamy lo-fi bedroom pop from Los Angeles, have just released their highly anticipated debut LP PUFF (We Are Busy Bodies) with an accompanying video for the song Somehow You Know. The album is a delight to listen to with its sweet sixties-tinged melodies and starts where their other baroque-pop project, Electric Looking Glass, leaves off. The third single from Vanity Mirror’s debut album PUFF, Somehow You Know, is a slacker lullaby for misfits and romantics. Written in a church garden on an overcast bank holiday, Somehow You Know is simple and understated, an anticipated sleeper hit of PUFF. Reflecting on the track Randall said, “Somehow You Know is a somewhat of a lullaby. It wasn’t an immediate choice for a single but one of our favorites and a track that a lot of close friends had highlighted as one of their favorites. I think it has an immediacy in its simplicity. I think this video captures that and we’re so excited to share it.” Listeners of Vanity Mirror’s debut album will hear careful nods to The Kinks, Idle Race and The Raspberries delicately woven into the hook-filled compositions.
Tuesday’s News, the album’s second track, is a lo-fi masterpiece with sweet guitars and a building rhythm with Randall’s lovely singing. The pleasant melody rings out with wintery lyrics but takes you to warm, sunny places in its charming pop harmonies. It’s hummable, optimistic, and a fun play anytime track; a perfect pick-me-up with an earworm melody. Another highlight of the debut album is Dandelion Wish. Randal describes Dandelion Wish as “a sophisticated bedroom pop ditty for wayward situationships. It’s the second single from Vanity Mirror’s debut album PUFF; a vulnerable collection of homespun pop experiments. This lo-fi flower-ballad blends soft nylon strumming with sparkling electric jangle; playful mellotron flourishes with an urgent quirksome rhythm section. Catch a ray of sun in your window and whistle along.”
Launching at the same time as their debut LP, the video for Somehow You Know was directed and edited by the band’s friend Fred Joseph of Expo Aktuell Films in Los Angeles. Randall explains, “We have been big fans of Fred’s for a long time. He’s a true artist and creates stunning analog TV/film pieces often utilizing period accurate vintage video equipment. He works out of the lovely Savannah Studios and you may have seen his work with many choice West Coast artists as of late. Fred was generous to collaborate with us to create this stunning vignette for Somehow You Know. Filmed with black and white vintage broadcast cameras, the camera floats around the studio on a track capturing us performing the song but also discovering a series of other little surreal and romantic scenes featuring our friends. Almost like a dream sequence or moment of clarity when many interconnected memories flood your mind all at once. And that is really what the song is about, making sense of things without being able to necessarily verbalize it.” The band was inspired by Andy Warhol Factory film tests but also 60’s TV specials.
The duo of Toronto-based Brent Randall (Gentle Brent) and Los Angeles-dwelling Johnny Toomey (The Turns) are known for their previous achievements with Los Angeles based, baroque-pop group, The Electric Looking Glass. Both musicians compliment each other stylistically and add sparks to their newest project, Vanity Mirror. Their debut LP, PUFF was written, recorded, performed, produced and even mixed by Brent Randall. The resulting album starts where their other project Electric Looking Glass leaves off, with hummable, dreamy pop that branches out into more intimate, less genre specific freeform songcraft. It is a nostalgic collection of songs pieced together in makeshift spaces while traveling between LA, Montreal, Detroit and Toronto. Taping old pianos in public libraries and abandoned houses and tracking vocals in vintage shop basements, Randall sent the tracks to Toomey who recorded drums and percussion in his Los Angeles basement using a handheld field recorder. Listeners will call to mind artists like Emitt Rhodes, Olivia Tremor Control, and Belle and Sebastian. Vanity Mirror’s PUFF will see a digital/vinyl release on May 12th, 2023 via We Are Busy Bodies.