In the age of the Internet’s ever-loaded blog bacchanal, it’s clear that one of the smartest ways into the vivacious party is by way of one’s looks. Justin Vallesteros, the sole creator of bedroom-bred Craft Spells chose to spend his dreampop project’s formative years revealing little information for all the inquisitive clicks he gathered after last year’s blurry buzzers “Party Talk” and “The Fog Rose High” hit the Webspace. Then, the label’s press photo- a hooded, wide-eyed Vallesteros hunched holding a can of Coors over a dog while flashing the Westside symbol in some backyard. The snapshot screams wholesome virtue and would feel right at home magnetized to some twenty-something’s fridge or tucked inside the front cover of their novel. Having begun work on his project back in 2009, Vallesteros dubs his debut Idle Labor and its pastel, Power, Corruption and Liessourced rococo bouquet cover, “A long time coming.”

Wrangling what’s recommended of retro media’s aesthetic underpinnings in sweet 200-second puffs, Idle Labor is full of the type of drowsy dream pop revivalism his Brooklyn imprint Captured Tracks is already known for from the likes of Wild Nothing or Beach Fossils. Betting it all on Vallesteros’ damn catchy, skimming guitar and percussion pairing (try “After the Moment”), the collection is strung together by thin, brittle loops and waiflike vocals telling tales of perfected courtship from the adore of some sun-baked 35mm-perfect scene (“Beauty Above All”). If there’s any gloom, it comes and goes before the 20-second mark (“Given the Time”) and if there are times when you think the California product is borrowing from certain UK or Scandinavian players, chances are you’re probably already right.

The quandary then, comes in the record’s pure immediacy. Though Vallesteros clearly proves he has talent when it comes to knowing a thing or two about this “dream pop” sound, early on, you start to envision this dainty checklist where things like twinkly release, lonesome boyish calls, jingle-jangle and afternoon dance-appeal all must be included. Gunning it to the finish, Idle Labor hits its cadence almost immediately, leaving but modest marks on the pavement. From background accessory to full-on twice-in-a-row headphone seclusion, it’s hard to uncover a noticeable dazzle about the record. Having just picked a band and immigrated to Seattle, one can hope the new Craft Spells material to be hinged with some rusty gloominess compared to what he got from his former Stockton bedroom, because until it comes, this 11-song collection doesn’t necessarily peg Vallesteros as a overly new act.

This review originally appeared on the Mishka Bloglin.