Review: Del Claro – Been Dreaming

Del Claro mixes programmed beats and layers of synth tones, with warm and dreamy guitars. Puddlegum reviews Del Claro's Been Dreaming EP.
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Del Claro is a 23 year old bedroom pop artist from Brazil. Matheus Del Claro released his debut self-titled EP earlier this year, an EP that he began recording as the Pandemic set in, releasing it in June. He didn’t stop recording, and he released his second EP, Been Dreaming, on December 18 (mastered by Alex Previty). Matheus mixes programmed beats and layers of synth tones, with warm and dreamy guitars.

His first EP has a mix of rich chorus electric guitar strums, and tremolo guitar effects, centered drums, and light warped synth sounds. Mattheus mixes his vocals with a delayed vocal plate. There’s an experimental element to these four songs; it’s a really nice debut that he recorded in his bedroom.

Been Dreaming EP

Just like his first EP, Been Dreaming opens up with an instrumental that sets the mood of the songs. The production is a step up, all handled by Matheus. The songs have more dream pop elements in these songs, with playful synth tones filling the soundscape. Electric guitar play a more supportive role, placed behind the synths mostly, with heavy chorus effects (and do I hear a slight flange effect?).

Fade Away is the standout track on this EP, one that should grab the ears of many. The sawtooth synth tone Matheus uses on the chorus is perfect, contrasting really well with the wistful guitar melody interplaying brilliantly. The percussion carries a looping drum beat with added percussive sounds hard-panned in the right ear and placed behind the music. The vocals on this song are the most straightforward, in terms of mixing, with fewer noticeable effects.

Feeling nostalgic for
A place I’ve never been to
I caught myself once again
Getting lost in future plans
Feeling anxious about
Things I created in my head
I caught myself once again
Fighting over uncertainty

It makes me wanna fade away

Del Claro – Fade Away (BandCamp)

Feel the Same has a nice groove, and is about days becoming too routine. “Every day looks like yesterday. I guess I need to take a break,” Matheus sings. House by a Lake is a downtempo song. His vocals are mixed down into the track, not sitting on top, and has a nice lingering plate and single echo. Matheus vocals remind me of Jason Martin’s vocals of Starflyer 59.

Been Dreaming (the track) picks the EP back up. Bass synth is panned to the right, allowing for a brighter center. The drums have varying reverb effects on them; the snare is placed in a bright large room, the high hat is dry, the kick has a stadium effect, and the percussion on the right is filtered through a low-pass filter. They all work really well together. Then he adds percussion that bounces around at time in your ears for a few measures. The guitar melody has a beautiful reverb on a dark guitar tone, doubled to create a dimension.

This is an EP that bedroom pop fans should welcome with open arms. Del Claro is writing moody songs with wonderful tones, and we look forward to hearing more. Been Dreaming will carry us nicely into the new year. (I really love the animated videos for this Been Dreaming EP on YouTube.)

Del Claro – Been Dreaming (YouTube)

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Kevin Flick
Kevin Flick

Kevin Flick founded Puddlegum in 1997 and has been engaging in music journalism off and on since. He's also a recording/mixing engineer and loves to help bands work through the creative process. He has coproduced and mixed for artists such as Saeyers, Midi Memory, and Cathedral Bells.

Rumors are that he's a Brighton Hove & Albion FC fan. He's also obsessed with coffee. Kevin resides in the college community of Bloomington, Indiana, where he studied at Indiana University.

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