Cheval Sombre – Mad Love
Cheval Sombre has friends in high places. The second album from upstate New Yorker Christoper Propora features both members of MGMT and was co-produced by Spacemen 3 legend Pete Kember. It’s the latter’s contribution that is most noticeable, and fans of dream pop will find much to love here. Propora has been making music for more than a decade, but he remains relatively unknown outside of his circle of more widely celebrated friends.
His whispered vocals glide in and out of Mad Love's 10 tracks, gently moved along by spectral organ and reverb-tinged guitar landscapes. Cheval Sombre shine brightest on original pieces like Someplace Else and Couldn’t Do, which best marry Propora’s distinctive delivery with astral arrangements. Frustratingly, of the three covers included here, only the version of folk standard Once I Had A Sweetheart brings any significant embellishment, leaving a bright collection of songs, but perhaps not quite so consistently dazzling as one might hope for.