Neiv are a three-piece dreampop band from The Alps. Jennie (Vox, Synths), PJ (Guitars, Vox), and Marko (Bass, Vox) create reverb drenched, often open songs that are both thought-provoking and catchy. Their third full-length, Canyon Dreams is a dream filled wonder, with gorgeous vocals, tight pop structures, and fantastic production. Moving from the foggy nature of Cocteau Twins to the brightness of Slowdive and Pia Fraus, Neiv have certainly come into their third full-length with nine songs that are exquisitely executed.
“Indian Springs” kicks of Canyon Dreams and the warm guitars, subtle percussion work, and dreamy vocals invite the listener into the sonic world of Neiv. It’s hypnotic, swirling, and evokes everything wonderful about warm spring afternoons. This entrance to Canyon Dream is perfection and really sets the mood for the entire album. “It’s the Cold Side”, while this site does have an affinity for the title, is another amazingly addictive track. The guitar melody is especially striking here as it repeats to create this head-bobbing earworm. “Take Me to the Sun” is a careful, out of this world affair. It transports the listener to the best times in their lives with an ease few artists can execute. What also becomes clear is that this album is largely a collection of singles with a few exceptions, with almost every track strong and worth standing on their own.
“Rest Stop” has a warm blanket of swirling reverb with gorgeous bright blips and bloops populating the airwaves. The vocals are a gorgeous harmony of female and male blending and they channel a sort of Pia Fraus sound here. “Tic Tac Toe” has warbling guitars that swirl about drums and bass. Evoking a playfully light smoky nightclub, the vocals are distance but soaring while the guitars eventually strum in time with the brilliant percussion and bass work. “Nothing is Real” begins with a sort of sci-fi synth feel, creating a dream state that is joined by guitar and other synth voices. There is a goth/post-punk underlying feel here that bursts into a very ethereal vocal.
“Canyon Dream” is just incredible. A combination of the best dreampop with a vocal melody that evokes a melancholier Pia Fraus, it shines as an incredible anchor to this album. If this perfection isn’t enough, the band continues with “Pink Stars” that has such an incredible bass-line coupled with beautifully pensive percussion that it, too, stands out on the album. The vocals float over walls of glistening guitar layers that just float along, creating a majestic piece near the end of this sonic journey. “Indian Summer” is the finale to Canyon Dream and is a dreamlike piece that has a story-tellers feel to it. The vocals are almost spoken and the guitars strum in time over a floating drone. A sax even makes an appearance, giving the track a sort of other-worldly feel. It’s a fanciful end to what is, in my estimation, the best album of the first quarter of 2018.
Canyon Dreams is certainly the thing of summer soundtracks filling the listener with grand and deep abiding memories of warm suns and refreshing beaches. An album full of singles, Canyon Dreams moves from one fabulously constructed moment to another evoking dream states and summer fun. Neiv have crafted a dreampop wonder. Everyone should get a copy, play it loud in the car with the windows down, and take a long drive along the coast. You won’t be disappointed.