Peals are a band that somewhat confounds expectations while producing results that are equal parts surprising and soothing. The duo, consisting of bassists William Cashion (of Future Islands) and Bruce Willen (of Double Dagger), have crafted a sound that only tangentially approaches the feel of their respective bands, but shouldn't turn off any established fans. While Future Islands employ a crooning, 1980s indie synthpop sound and Double Dagger embrace a rawer post-punk feel, Peals are something of a busman's holiday of ambient soundscapes that borrow from the former band's melodicism and the latter's edgier sound.

Honey was originally released in 2016 on the now-defunct Friends Records, following their 2013 debut album Walking Field and the 2015 cassette-only release Seltzer. The ever-eclectic Thrill Jockey label has reissued Honey, and it's a great opportunity to reassess this album, bringing it a slightly higher level of exposure. The fact that Future Islands have a new album coming out later this month also makes an interesting, if unintentional, bit of cross-promotion.

Opening with the rhythmic, deeply melodic "Become Younger", Cashion and Willen embrace classic krautrock as the hypnotic track recalls the classic, timeless sound of bands like Neu. But other songs on Honey are quieter, more meditative, and not always tied down to consistent tempo. "Wind Honey" is more of a calm soundscape that slowly builds in intensity before coming out the other end with a soothing cascade of chimes or toy piano notes. Like several of the album's other songs, "Essential Attitudes" combines krautrock beats and quasi-ambient vibe as a drum machine is dropped into the track, followed by some spacey, understated surf guitar. Honey wants to be several things, and fortunately, they're all done quite well.

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