February has been a treat for people who love dream pop & post rock. After Trentmøller and Beach House released their respective albums in the past two weeks, Matthew Doty aka Deserta has released a new album Every Moment, Everything You Need. Doty released his debut project under the Deserta alias in 2020 titled Black Aura My Sun. It was calmer and thematically looking at the world from the eyes of a father. Every Moment, Everything You Need is a different look at his life, one of a healthcare worker during the pandemic. His partner is also a healthcare worker with the both of them working very long hours during the pandemic.
Beyond the 13-hour days, the couple also had to contend with construction, sirens and raising a young child, giving them hardly a moment to relax. Given the conditions, especially the construction, he had to rework the typical way to record an album like this. Doty wasn’t able to play his guitar through an amplifier, or sing to his full volume, so he re-recorded all of the guitars and vocals with Beach House and Slowdive producer Chris Coady, who engineered the project.
Despite those challenges, working only an hour or two per day on the album, Deserta puts out a splendid eight-track project. The opener “Lost In The Weight” gets you situated for the hazy dream-pop/rock that Deserta explores at length. The second song is one of the standouts and most relatable. “I’m So Tired” is an anthem for all of us in this terrible existence, especially healthcare workers as Doty sings, “I’m too tired to be cool.”
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With this genre, there can be moments when the vocals become almost Cocteau Twins level of inscrutable, but they sort of float in the distance to add another melodic piece to the song. “It’s All A Memory” has a similar sound with triumphant finish of guitars and synths. “When Did You Go” requires you to really listen to the vocals in the background beyond synths, guitars and drums from James McAlister (The National, Taylor Swift, Big Red Machine).
“Far From Over” follows that with the maximum reverb possible on the dreamy and soaring guitars drenched in reverb. The album eventually finds its way to the end with the exuberant finale “Visions” that rolls everything from the album into one final salvo of drums, synths and guitars.
Deserta has released an album to get lost in. There are brief moments of clarity like with the synth line towards the end of “Far From Over,” but Every Moment, Everything You Need primarily finds the delicate balance of washed out synths, guitars, drums and vocals. It all comes together with ease as the start of one elements bleeds into the other without getting buried. Get your copy of the album here.