About two years ago I was introduced to the first demo from Winnipeg-based duo Bedroom Suite. The tape’s fusion of nostalgia and somber weight evoked images of a tattered past viewed through faded photographs. In short, it was an overwhelmingly sad yet wholly beautiful experience for me. I’ll admit I thought the project was entirely abandoned until word came my way about the impending release of a new album on Step Pepper Records, simply titled Decay. While expansion and growth are inevitable after two years of life events, it’s safe to say that this album is the first major downer of 2015, yet it’s one I can’t help but revisit frequently, especially late at night when alone with my thoughts.
From melancholy roots, Bedroom Suite has grown into something that is essentially more of the same, yet there’s a knowing sense of time here. Flashbacks to pointless arguments cut across flickers of summer afternoons and sounds of panic accompany sounds of play. The juxtaposition makes for a sense of longing that weighs heavily upon the listener. Acoustic instruments play across stretched and warped tape loops, a dull clashing of elements that, while all relatively morose, contrast well enough to add depth and meaning instead of simply layering gloom upon gloom for dramatic effect. Whether it’s the soft percussion on “Growing Anxiety” or the guitars throughout the album, these instruments are never smothering or even the primary sources of melody and flow, but rather are the wind that stirs the branches, so to speak.
You may find that this review is rather short. In a sense, it’s because the album’s emotive nature is so strong that it’s best when left to account for itself. I can’t put to words the memories that Decay stirs up in me, because they won’t apply to you, dear reader. Instead, I urge you to find a period where you can be entirely alone and without distraction. While my site’s method is often one to encourage a drink or two, this album is an experience that should be had while sober and focused at least once. Whether you find yourself pondering missed opportunities, foolish behavior of younger years, or real trauma that you may have buried, know that Bedroom Suite is unearthing these things as a means of catharsis rather than adding salt to the wound. For those who wish to visit these places on a regular basis, Step Pepper Records will soon release this as a cassette tape, so keep an eye out.