Ever/Never / US & Europe / 2021
Tiptoeing in, stealth-like, CIA Debutante’s Music For Small Rooms 12” on Ever/Never Records tempts the listener with secrets and their inevitable spilling out into the open. Over the course of several releases, the France-based duo has shown a real gift for delving into the particulars of paranoia, seeding their songs with threats disguised as hooks. On its perfectly succinct new EP, CIA Debutante refines this method, as each of the six tracks plays like dystopian theme songs for closed-circuit television dramas. From the gradually increasing disquiet of “Nuclear Holiday” to the full-on terror of “The Face” (“There’s a blank spot/where the face should be”), CIA Debutante are well-versed in navigating the eternal eddies of existential doubt. With molten electronics accompanying a resigned vocal, “Sinkhole” really does feel like the planet is opening up beneath you, but perhaps you don’t mind as much as you’d have expected. “Faulty Appliances” is a kitchen sink nightmare and even elicits a couple chuckles as it wraps up the leftovers. If you find yourself routinely menaced by everyday objects, then you are primed and ready for the sounds that CIA Debutante pipes into Music For Small Rooms.