Mirrorball is a newly formed Los Angeles-based synth pop project featuring singer/songwriter Alexandra Johnstone and guitarist Scott Watson, both of whom are grizzled veterans of their hometown’s music scene: Johnstone, who was largely inspired by Leonard Cohen’s Songs from a Room went on to form Monster, later known as White Dove, as a vehicle for her minimalist, folk-woven leanings that garnered comparisons to the likes of Low and Cat Power. Watson has played in a number of groups during Silver Lake’s early 2000s indie rock heyday.
Johnstone and Watson’s latest project finds the duo pushing their sound and approach in a decidedly different direction — eerie dream pop sound meant to evoke abandoned shopping malls and 1980s coming-of-age movies, as their sound is centered around Johnstone’s self-assured vocals, atmospheric and arpeggiated synths and percussive guitar lines. The duo’s debut A-side brooding single “This Time” features fluttering and arpeggiated synths, Johnstone’s emotive vocals, propulsive drum programming and shimmering guitars — and while bearing an uncanny resemblance to Beach House, the single reveals a surrealist and poetic sensibility.
Directed by Jess T. Johnston, the recently released video is split between footage of Johnstone earnestly performing the song in gorgeous, colored lights and brooding in a shallow reflect pool, capturing the eerie pensiveness of the song.