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On October 13th, the duo of Jenny Owen Youngs and Xian Hawkins will release the first installment of their collaboration as Bell Horses. Hawkins has made a name for himself through his recordings under the Sybarite moniker on labels such as Ghostly International and 4AD, as well as the third member in the reunited incarnation of experimental electronic music pioneers Silver Apples. Youngs has two well-received solo records under her belt, but is perhaps most infamous for her cover of Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.” Having attended college at SUNY-Purchase around the same time as anti-folk artists Langhorne Slim, Regina Spektor, and the Moldy Peaches’ Adam Green and Kimya Dawson, it shouldn’t be a surprise to find her music populated by both moments of childlike whimsy and occasional bits of lush orchestration.
When the pair unite their divergent backgrounds under the Bell Horses flag, the proceedings are a marriage of Hawkins’ spacey textures and Young’s facility with constructing fragile yet insinuating melodies. “Dust of Us,” the final track on This Loves Last Time, is unambiguously patterned on the dream-pop lineage of artists such as Damon and Naomi and the Cocteau Twins, but blends the typical celestial fringe with a grainy, electronic fog. At nearly five minutes in length, “Dust of Us” has plenty of time to play up its elements of airiness and haze, creating a spacious arena to house Young’s scale-climbing vocals. It is a song built not on catchy choruses or memorable lyrics, but rather a more impressionistic imprint, and fans of everything from Spiritualized to Low should find plenty to enjoy in this track.