Mexican Summer Records, 2016
Reviewed by Kent Manthie
Puro Instinct is back. Yes, the Kaplan sisters are back. Hollywood-based Skylar and Piper Kaplan; they are the heart and soul of this outfit.
Their new album, Autodrama, is just out now, on Mexican Summer Records. This is their second full-length CD, which is a follow-up to their debut full-length, Headbangers and Ecstasy, from 2011. Their debut was 2009’s Something About the Chaparrals, an EP.
I thought that “avant-pop” was a perfect way to describe Puro Instinct. The music is light, airy; close your eyes long enough and you’ll feel as if you’re floating.
Autodrama is like a rush of energy; full of hooks, catchy vibes, beautiful, hypnotic, even angelic, voices, which, in some parts, might give you a flashback of the Cocteau Twins, with their heavenly melodies and celestial, gorgeous sounds.
When sisters, Piper and Skylar, started out, the younger sister, Skylar, was just a girl. Having caught the attention of someone with Mexican Summer Records, the label signed Puro Instinct. Soon, in 2009, MSR released the duo’s debut EP, Something About the Chaparrals. Shortly thereafter, they found themselves on tour with Ariel Pink; Skylar was just 15 and Piper, 22. Not long after the tour, they released their first full-length CD, Headbangers in Ecstasy.
After some time spent in Europe, with French techno producer, Strip Steve and appearing on a 12” single of his, they bounced around for a while, then ended up down under, in Perth, Australia, where they spent about a month. Their time in Australia was where Autodrama was born. It’s also seen, to the sisters, as a milestone in the evolution of their musical career: they felt that this was a chance for them to rising up from the “flames”…Autodrama is seen as “…about rising from the ashes of that experience, with the lessons intact, and our ‘demons’ working for us, instead of against us.”
With that said, Autodrama is one blissed out love affair. Whatever it was they overcame in order to get to this, I must say, the result is a good one. -KM