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Renata Zeiguer – Picnic in the Dark (Northern Spy)

Renata Zeiguer
12 April 2022

Much of what gets tagged as dream pop suffers from undernourished material and bland singing. Not so in the case of Renata Zeiguer’s quietly divine Picnic in the Dark. On this delicate and intoxicating work, the crafty Filipino-Argentinian singer-songwriter invents a shadowy, poignant world evocative of a startling out-of-body experience. Her sweetly blissed-out voice floats above soft melodies marked by inventive chord changes and echoes of bossa nova, easy listening and Brian Wilson at his most introspective. Though this enticing album feels like a strange vacation from the everyday, reality lurks nearby; “Alone with Someone Else” gently complains, “When I move closer to you, you disappear…You’re just a lover ‘cause you can’t be by yourself.” But even when the meaning seems elusive, Zeiguer’s sure yet subtle command is wondrous.