It happens sometimes when you walk down the street in a faraway city: A face floats out of the crowd, so familiar it hurts, so unexpected it makes your chest clench. You can't place it; it doesn't belong to any particular person you've ever known. But your whole being resonates with a shudder of recognition, the disorienting ache of being haunted in a strange place.
M83 aches the same way. Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts is the French duo's sophomore release, and it nags and tugs at the senses like an apparition. Each track basks in a pastoral, organic ambience as wavering vapors of melody tease the unconscious with mirages of remembered futures and forgotten pasts. Textures crystallize and then erase themselves; rhythms build and collapse with the featureless density of snowdrifts or submerged memories. Dead Cities is a gemlike record, flawless in its vulnerability, almost spiritual in its vast, amorphous countenance. It may be new to your ears, but your soul knows every song by heart.