I've always been of the opinion that dreampop always hovers between masturbatory, self-indulgent pap and holding the listener in a sustained, blissful moment in a way that 4'4 time rock can't. Upon my third listen, I'll say, tentatively, that Preludes manages to fall on the latter side. The songs on "The Swan" are all of a piece, and that piece is something like walking around Seattle, stoned out of yr mind, on a sunny day; people glide by, there's gently moving water everywhere, and the world is melting into a pleasantly nebulous mass of good feelings.
"The Swan" sets the mood with barely-murmured vocals and muted, hushed percussion that's barely audible on first listen. "Sleepy Eye'd" wakes up from the dream a bit, with a sustained synth figure framing the singer, who sounds a lot like Beach House's Victoria LeGrand or Mazzy Star's Hope Sandoval on this one. The heart of the EP, however, is "In Central Park," the most dynamic of the tracks. Lilting along in slumberland, buoyed by what sounds like violin samples and handclaps, the vocalist narrates, uh, walking in Central Park. This one's going on the mixtape for the next girl I fall in like with.
Listen to the EP here. Also check out the "Dresden" single, which came out in March. Dream on, dreamerz!