With how amazingly full a sound that Tidelands produces it’s hard to believe that there are only two members behind it all. Gabriel Montana Leis finds himself manning the Guitar, Flugelhorn and vocals while Mie Araki is behind the drum kit, synthesizer and also contributes to the vocals, often all at the same time. Along the way to producing their debut album If…, the duo has been able to collaborate with some of the greatest minds in indie rock. John Vanderslice introduced Leis to Minna Choi of the Majik*Majik Orchestra which Vanderslice recorded his latest album with. From there they brought in local musicians Nils Erikson of 20 Minute Loop, Sam Bass on cello from Les Claypool’s solo project and Ara Anderson from Tom Wait’s horn section.
If… is an amazingly lush journey through chamber pop and progressive rock. There are no rough edges here, just smooth dream world orchestrations under the baritone voice of Leis. It’s difficult not to get lost in the world that Tidelands has created in this album. It’s probably better than the one where we currently reside.