Courtship Ritual can do more with a bass, synth, and drum machine than a lot of bands can do with twice as much gear. The Brooklyn duo of Monica Salazar and Jared Olmstead takes simplicity and minimalism to dizzying heights on its debut album, Pith. Recalling like-minded acts such as Beach House or the xx, Courtship Ritual makes dark, dreamy pop, but in their hands, there’s something even more contagious about their songs. Pith is a quick record, skipping past in a mere half-hour. The songs deliver their hooks and get out, constantly leaving you wanting more. The album’s co-producer Nick Sylvester summed it up best when he told NME, “There’s very little to these songs but somehow they each feel like their own world.” One of these worlds is the arresting “Kingdom of Beauty,” which rides a bubbling bass line as its melodic center before shifting into a full-on summer party song almost halfway through its short running time. Blink and you’ll miss it, but it’s easy to keep coming back to Courtship Ritual again and again.
- Cactus Cafe