The American Analog Set – Dim Stars (The Boy In My Arms)

27th February 2024 · 1990s, 1996, Music

The American Analog Set launched their lo-fi career in the mid-90s in Austin, Texas, influenced by krautrock, post-rock and shoegaze.

I’m always a sucker for anyone who sounds like The Velvet Underground, whether it be The Feelies or Yo La Tengo or Spacemen 3 or Ultimate Painting or Galaxie 500 or Mazzy Star or any of the hundreds of others.

This track couldn’t sound any more Velveteen if it actually had Lou and the rest playing on it, from the narcotic tempo to the lazy jangle of guitars and the droney organ.

I have to admit I had never heard of The American Analog Set (AmAnSet for short, apparently) til I saw a review of a new box set of all their work and decided to give it a spin.

This is from their first album, with the rather lovely title The Fun Of Watching Fireworks, and it’s called Dim Stars (The Boy In My Arms), which is an equally evocative title.

Released in 1996, the whole album exists in a druggy haze of lo-fi dream pop which, on subsequent albums, slowly lifts like fog burning off in the morning sun, but I think I like the earlier, slower, druggier stuff best.

The gentle mood, built on hypnotic rhythms not a million miles away from krautrock, with the guitars set against clouds of Farfisa organ, allow you to close your eyes and drift off into an opiated dream.