Yes In My Backyard is a semiweekly column showcasing MP3s from new and emerging local talent.
Little is known about rapturous Greenpoint wooshball I Dazzler, who makes captivating bedroom recordings that romantically blend mush and mushiness. “I am kind of shy,” says Dazzler. Born Lauren Austin Wood, she has yet to play a single live show: “I might have to be behind a video screen or wear a veil or a ghost outfit or something.” Her hypnotic drone-pop already seems like it’s muffled with gauze, a shimmer somewhere between the nostalgic pop of Nite Jewel and the rainy-day haze of Grouper. Song titles like “Snowdayz,” “Dreamin'” and “Springsong,” only add to the chillaxing-as-art vibe.
Wood is a Texas transplant who’s been living in New York for five years and working with textiles, but any other questions yield answers that are just as mysterious as her amorphous sounds. When asked “Who are you?” over email, she responds, “I’ve been staring at the question for, like, 30 minutes. I’m going to sleep on that.” For now, we’ll let the songs do the talking. “Junglewalk” is an “Under The Boardwalk” for the hypnagogic generation–all goo-goo-eyed harmonies and washes of wedding-bell strings wrapped in the warm embrace of a cumulous cloud sagging with reverb.
Download: I Dazzler, “Junglewalk”
What is “Junglewalk” about?
“Junglewalk” is a little fiction and a little fact. I had an amazing trip on the Pacific coast of Mexico a couple years ago, so it’s a little bit about that, but it’s also about being in love and asking someone to take that ride with you. I like places where jungle meets ocean, so the song exists in that landscape. But strangely I wrote it when I was in Iceland for work.
Tell me about the musical inspiration for the track…
I was listening to a lot of Indian chant and some trancy African stuff so I’m sure that played into it. It is a little call and response. I was into the idea of these chants that kind of flow over hip-hop beats but the end product probably doesn’t sound that way.
What emotions are you trying to get across with this music? Romantic? Nostalgic? Comforting?
Hmm… It’s kind of about a sense of wonder, and yes it’s romantic. It’s about travel and love and feeling like you have limitless possibilities, which we all do.
How do you make these lush sweeps of strings?
I make them with a keyboard, though I would like to say that there were live strings in the room with me. They sound emotional, hopeful, and kind of joyous to me. I like things that swell like waves.
What’s the best show you ever played in New York?
Well, I’ve never played a show in New York. Up until now I Dazzler has been my bedroom project–though I am getting a lot encouragement right now to put a live act together… I was in a band when I was in high school in Texas. We were really into Sonic Youth and Guided by Voices and My Bloody Valentine so it kind of sounded washed out and messy. We played out a couple times and it was tough but probably good for me. But I quit playing music for a long time because I convinced myself I wasn’t good at it. Last year something in my brain snapped and I just started making these songs. I don’t care if they are good or bad. I just like to do it.