Ancient Pools plays the ZACC Below Sat., July 7, at 7:30 PM, along with Whole Milk, Tiny Plastic Stars and Crypticollider. $6.
Ancient Pools has only one song out so far, “Ocean for Ocean,” for which they shot a music video on a VHS tape in a dark room, edited to enhance all the grunge and blemishes of the medium. It’s fitting because the duo’s echoey dream-pop sound melds well with the fuzzy, almost psychedelic visuals that capture a 1980s and 1990s aesthetic.
Ancient Pools consists of guitarist/vocalist Anna Jeter and bassist/synth player Kevin Christopher. (Christopher also plays in the Olympia rock quartet Oh, Rose, who opened for Future Islands in Missoula at the Wilma back in mid-2017.) In “Ocean for Ocean,” Christopher’s soft synth is even outdone by Jeter’s smooth melodies and hypnotic, yearning refrain of “Cannot find it.” Just when you think they might start rocking, they slow down the tempo even more, this time with a drum machine and heavenly rhythmic chords that could probably lull you into a deep REM sleep if you let it.
More than anything, I fell in love with the video — the way Jeter leans in to hum and how the camera zooms in on her fingers plucking the pearly guitar. The song barely crests a minute and a half in length, but it somehow feels longer. The droning, earworm chorus sticks with you far beyond the last measure.