“Am I asleep or am I awake?” Retail Space asks in the refrain of “Dreams,” a question that could serve as the guiding principle for the listener throughout the Brooklyn band’s new debut album, In The Lotia. Some of the record is languid and hazy, steeped in fuzzy synth washes and woozy guitar arpeggios, while other parts are upbeat and bright, following the urgent pull of quick drumbeats. Sometimes the male-female harmonies feel like old-timey country-blues or something from a forgotten dream; other times they leap, halt, or twist with strange, vivacious originality. Held together by the songwriters and partners in singing, Isabelle Burnet and Jacob Rosse, the two states exist in perfect harmony, transitioning seamlessly or coexisting in the same moment.
From the up-tempo, catchy single, “Getting Older,” with its breezy vocals and clever lyrical turns (“It’s so easy getting older / Don’t get too old”), to “Moon,” a slow, misty ballad with a folky melody, and the psychedelic sounds of “Pink,” Burnet and Rosse hold the listener in their intriguing little world between dream pop and psych rock—between lazy, starry-eyed sleep and the energetic warmth of wakefulness. What better place is there to exist in in the summertime?