Fizzy Orange by The Orange Kyte
Vancouver based psych outfit 'The Orange Kyte' have unleashed the final track on their mammoth sonic expedition to release one track per month for 2016! It's been an explosive sonic thrill ride for the band this year with every single monthly instalment swirling in and out of varying degrees of deliciously addictive psychedelic exploration. 'The Orange Kyte' are made up of Steve Moonboots & a revolving door of likeminded musicians. Piloting the good ship Orange Kyte on it's final voyage of 2016 are Stevie Moonboots - guitars/vocals, Mat Durie - organ/piano, Dave Mulvaney - drums/percussion, Robin Schroffel - bass & Jonah Kya Goksøyr - Trombone. The single is available to buy/download right now from theorangekyte.bandcamp.com
'Fizzy Orange' shimmies blissfully on a fuzzy instrumental wave thats filled with subtle brass indentations courtesy of Jonah Kya Goksøyr on trombone, luscious swirling organ lines, growling guitars, hypnotic drum patterns, cascading bass progressions and the ever present addictive vocalisations of Stevie Moonboots. 'Fizzy Orange' breaks down wonderfully around the two and a half minute mark, transforming itself into a creeping psychedelic beast, constantly changing it's sonic form until eventually exploding into a finale that is filled with beautiful frequential noise. A brilliant ending to a great year of releases.
by Primal Music
ARTIST: Has A Shadow
RELEASE: Sorrow Tomorrow
RELEASE DATE: 18th January 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Fuzz Club Records
Mexico natives 'Has A Shadow' release their sophomore album (their first via Fuzz Club Records) entitled 'Sorrow Tomorrow' on January 18th 2017. The band create a brand of dark and ritualistic modern day psych gaze that heaves and undulates through swathes of unabashed reverberation and driving instrumentation tinged with menacing gothic tones. This new album follows a run of EU dates that included an appearance at Liverpool Psych Fest and shows with LSD & The Search for God, TAU and The Jabberwocky Band. You can pre-order 'Sorrow Tomorrow' ahead of it's January release, on various formats over at www.fuzzclub.com
In a hail of fragmented frequencies and the sampled barking of dogs the opening salvo’s of ‘Sorrow’ squeal into audible range riding rough shot on shuddering synth swells and the metronomic sway of percussion. Tormented vocalisations swirl repetitiously as the track builds and surges into a raging sonic tornado allowing it’s wailing guitar progressions to pulse wave after wave of intense reverberation out into the ether. Up next, ‘Lord Of Flies’ saunters into the musical arena with a distinctly edgy swagger. It’s creeping drum pattern swings hypnotically dragging with it those dark organ progressions, snaking guitars and the menacing throb of bass frequencies. Vocally ‘Lord Of The Flies’ is steeped in gothic flair and unrepentant reverberation as we exquisitely meander through waves of intense dark frequential matter and swirling atmospherics making this a brilliantly executed track. Track three, 'The Flesh' pulsates and swirls on undulating waves of dark instrumentation that includes throbbing bass lines, reverb laced organ swells, repetitive percussion, fuzz -laden guitars and hauntingly good vocalisations.
‘Attack Of The Junkie’ effortlessly drones into earshot, building repetitiously as the drag of the organ swell brings with it those thunderous drums and echoing vocalisations. This track is a driving psych induced behemoth that takes no prisoners as it’s tremulous guitars & throbbing bass progressions wage a war of sonic attrition, bending unsuspecting frequencies at will until eventually turning them into a colossal wall of magnificent noise. ‘Attack Of The Junkie’ is a triumphant track, possibly my favourite on the entire album. It is inherently filled with hard hitting sonic aggression and worthy of your ears. ‘Cul De Sac’ pulses on a sequenced synth line as ‘Has A Shadow’ unleash a noisy post-punk sheen on proceedings. The melodious bass line weaves a jittering sonic web as it works through it’s predesignated course, all the while being harassed by swirling reverberation, intense vocalisations and dark menacing instrumentation. Guitars explode into a cacophony of noise as those hypnotically charged organ lines takes hold, dragging the listener with them on an undulating white knuckle thrill ride.
Up next, the albums latest single jangles into earshot steeped heavily in an air of atmospheric trepidation. ‘Vampire Kiss’ has brash and scuzzy guitars that swirl deep within a dark haze of reverb. You really have to check yourself as those throbbing bass frequencies & thunderous drums dance and swing a hypnotically charged jig, effortlessly circumnavigated by those hauntingly good organ lines and the foreboding vocal tones of Daniel Garcino. ‘Horror Will Grow’ swirls into the ether on a another repetitious drone as it’s menacing organ lines snake and move held fast within a turbulent cloud of dark reverberation accompanied by brilliantly executed guitar lines and shuffling percussive hits. This slow burning psychedelic beast stalks the outer limits of the subconscious as those swirling vocalisations of Garcino slowly pick their way through the many layers of the human psyche and burrow themselves where they can be instantly recognisable for future reference.
The albums penultimate track explodes in a torrent of thunderous drums and driving guitars. ‘Not Even Human’ shatters the slow burgeoning drag of the previous track by spewing forth a cacophony of fuzzy atmospheric instrumentation & jittering repetitious noise. Somewhere deep within the sonic maelstrom, however, Daniel Garcino vocals meticulously hold court and strenuously keep everything together magnificently. The albums final onslaught comes in the form of ‘World Sensation’, a swirling salacious beast riding a growling guitar progression and a sparse wave of percussion. The organ arrives on cue as the track explodes into a colourful array of reverberating frequencies orbiting another impressive vocal display, before we’re all swallowed up by glorious surf/psych sounds until the tracks finale! A belter of a track to finish off one hell of a sonic thrill ride.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish based electronic duo Analogue Wave but also dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog - The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion. His other arm - Primal Radio - has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.
ARTIST: Strata Florida
RELEASE: Falling From Grace
RELEASE DATE: 25th November 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Cherry Red Songs
Wales based dream-gazers Strata Florida released their beautiful sophomore album to the masses back on the 25th November 2016. 'Falling From Grace' is the highly anticipated follow up to the brilliant 'Made of Stars'(Saint Marie Records) and although it peels away much of the distortion that we had previously heard on the aforementioned album it takes absolutely nothing away from the songwriting prowess of both Louise Trehy & Peter Pavli. Louise returned to music after a 20 year hibernation having previously graced the underground music scene as a member of 4AD darlings 'Swallow'. She joined forces with Peter Pavli (High Tide, Robert Calvert, Third Ear Band, Annette Peacock) to form Strata Florida and they continue to release immense sonic soundscapes. 'Falling From Grace' is available to buy/download right now from strataflorida.bandcamp.com
Falling from Grace by Strata Florida
In a blissful array of stunning instrumentation the opening bars of ‘Caroline’ breathe shimmering frequencies out into the musical ether with delicious aplomb. Louise Trehy’s ethereal vocalisations float effortlessly on a wave of dreamy reverberation as the swirling guitar track and the repetitious sequenced percussion collectively instil a surreal kind of calmness to proceedings. Up next, ‘Vital Signs’ pulses into audible range on sequenced synth swells and tremulous guitar squall. Again, the haunting tones of Trehy are ever present as they swirl and meld into a cascading chorus break, deftly underscored by some fascinating layered guitar work, the bleeps & whirr’s of electronic atmospherics and sparse percussive hits. ‘Emily Bronte’ fizzes into earshot on an post-punk inspired bass line & luscious synth swells. The metronomic drum track takes up a kind of holding pattern, like a musical anchor, as all around it soars into the ether on wave after wave of beautifully golden sonic frequencies that are drenched in blissful reverb. A stunningly refreshing track indeed.
Up next, ‘Frozen’ is filled with boundless energy, allowing it’s woozy guitars to hold court and to gracefully shimmer as sparse sequenced percussive hits and throbbing bass frequencies act like bedrock to support those refreshing vocalisations. ‘Lost In Space’ trembles as it’s guitars jangle and shake on a steadying drum pattern that collectively builds with each progression until eventually breaking down into it’s cascading synth filled finale whilst the brilliant ‘Honey’ unfurls it’s sonic tendrils and transforms itself into a musical mash up between The Cure & Cocteau Twins. ‘Honey’ is a stunning track, deliciously filled with soaring instrumentation and blissfully translucent vocal lines.
The albums penultimate track is by far the heaviest on the entire release. Tremulous guitars and melodious bass lines sit atop a steadying drum pattern as Louise’s otherworldly vocalisations pulse from a different sonic plane than ours. Like a ghostly apparition the brilliant ‘Falling’ instils a surreal calmness as it works through it’s sonic repetitions and on into its grand finale. The albums closing piece is a brilliant slice of modern day post-punk. ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ shudders on a driving bass line as swirling vocals and snaking lead guitar licks circumnavigate that repetitious percussive pattern. Underscored with electronic atmospherics and subtle synth swells ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ is an absolute triumph and quite possibly my favourite track on this entire release.
There's an air of invincibility surrounding Strata Florida's music that is both enthralling and addictive all at once. Louise Trehy draws her listeners into every single track with her distinctive ethereal vocal style whilst instrumentally the band create well though out, layered soundscapes that act as a sonic conduit to deliver dreamy shoegaze & post-punk inspired sound.
ARTIST: In Light Of
RELEASE: Little Treasures
RELEASE DATE: 18th November 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Simple and easy… 5/5. And that is, really, that. You know, we could talk and jibber about this and that and the high and the low points; we could peer inside and try and examine what exactly is doing what and what makes the music interesting or engaging… But the best way to describe In Light Of’s new EP/Mini album is by the title they have given it; Little Treasures. A title fitting for a small collective group of songs that push the boundaries of post-rock into more experimental territory and that gives the name lo-fi a prettier looking face in a contextual sense. Landing somewhere between what is generally dubbed ‘ambient’ music and post-rock, the EP comfortably spreads it wings in a sometimes minimalist fashion to cross the path of art rock, dream pop and experimental music. Beautiful, mesmerizing, playfully introspective and kaleidoscopically bright, the band presents not only a well-rounded EP, but an interesting and engaging piece of musicality.
Little Treasures by In Light Of
The EP opens with ‘Bless Your Heart’, a song based around vivid and distant soundscapes that include dream pop sensibilities while introducing the soothing sounds of string instruments into the mix. Even though this is the opening song, the band’s mode of song writing and production are on full display to convey their idea of how post-rock music should sound. That idea is that a song is not a song. Instead, they present what is known as a song as a mesh of different colourful sounds that join together and blend to create a textured style of song writing. The listener doesn’t hear a song; they hear sounds. Sounds that join and form other sounds that lead onto different sounds that set up the music for a different sound and so on and so on. On ‘Bless Your Heart’ these sounds begin as a kind of representation of bright, lucid colours and dreaming; the sounds are all beautiful, slight and warm. On the other side of the song, the string section picks these sounds up and adds a different dimension to them entirely. The song eventually becomes swept up in the beat and sound of the drums which forms a kind of loose musical structure that the listener can follow along to. This is followed by the much more stripped back and acoustic laden ‘Cardinal Song’. Again, the band play with smaller and ‘lighter’ sounds that crescendo as the song continues, always holding the same attitude of sound. ‘Cardinal Song’ however, unlike the EP’s opening track, goes full song in a musical sense; beginning with an acoustic phrase that also appears later.
The title track melds the acoustic mood and the textured sound of the previous tracks together into a song that evokes imagery of bright and soft clouds and some kind of relaxing landscape. The soundscapes that the band are backed up by the slow and steady pace of a drum beat that sits at an extremely relaxing and comfortable volume in the mix. The bands use of piano shines heavily on this song, especially around the midway point where it chases the acoustic guitar around the bright patterns in the background of the music. The song sounds as though In Light Of have captured the albums cover art and set about writing a song that conveys that place and mood to the listener; beautiful. ‘Ascending’ introduces a more digital element to the album; opening with piano and synth like sounds that build up into patter-like drums or samples perhaps? All the while the band maintain their signature layering of noise and sound in the background. There may even be a DJ scratch in the music somewhere… Maybe, or is that something else? The middle of the song acts as a sort of contemplative ease which resonates with some kind of introspective tone; the slow drumming enters and the listener notices just how much is going on in the song and just how many instruments and sounds the band has layered therein. ‘Harmonica’ revisits a lot of the music that the band has explored and showcased through the EP and thus, while still greatly enjoyable, doesn’t present anything vastly different or alternative in the face of the other songs.
As previously stated, Little Treasures presents an alternate definition of the word song. There is little completely ‘traditional’ forms of song writing on this EP. Sure, there’s the occasional acoustic guitar riff or a section of notes and chords that link together for a while but overall much of the album relies on collages of soundscapes to tie themselves together over the top of a drum beat or noise. This is brilliant. And the whole thing is brilliant. It’s so beautiful to listen to; whether that be intently or as background music. It’s an indication of how post-rock can be manipulated into different forms and styles and because of this, Little Treasures could easily be labelled experimental above any other genres; but it is not wild experimentation with a million different guitars, feedback or a trillion different samples, it’s just the simple things; the stripped back elements that make you really look into a sound.
Apparently the making of Little Treasures was somewhat of an experiment within itself; each member of the two piece sent the other music that eventually was edited, composed and re-written into some coherent form of music. This practice puts a lo-fi like spin onto the music on the EP. But not in a grainy, screechy, scratching style but in a more uncovered, honest way that pushes the music forward and helps illuminate every tiny sound throughout the EP. Little Treasures is not an album for those seeking structural, tonal and verse-chorus formed music… But it is however a truly rewarding and intelligent piece of music making that emphasises the tiny cogs and gears that musicians generally coat up with heavy production and song writing techniques. Their music overall is helped greatly by their skills in editing, mixing, performance and sound.
Cam Phillips is a writer and above all, a music lover, who seeks to gain experience through writing and listening. He is also an avid film viewer and art and literature junkie who enjoys creative writing. His most recent published work was featured on the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
ARTIST: Twin Haus
RELEASE: Nothing Lavish
RELEASE DATE: 22nd March 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Bedlam Records (BDM010)
Brisbane based noisy, ambient psych rockers ‘Twin Haus’ have just released their sophomore EP entitled ‘Nothing Lavish’ (22 March 2016) via Bedlam Records. This release follows on from their successful debut EP, the sonically sublime 7 track ‘Waxen Myriad’ (2014) and see’s the band continue on with their sonic manifesto of not pigeon holing themselves into any one particular musical genre. With a sound that expertly skips through noisy, psych tinged highs but also has subtle atmospheric post-rock strands that are infused with stunning atmospheric ambient low points, ‘Twin Haus’ successfully produce wonderful sonic soundscapes that deserve to be listened to over and over again. ‘Nothing Lavish’ is available to buy/download right now from: twinhaus.bandcamp.com
Nothing Lavish by Twin Haus
The EP opens up with an addictively melodic guitar build, carefully cushioning that impressive vocal performance before collectively streaming into a gorgeous chorus break. Yes, I am hearing Radiohead here from the beginning but ‘Synthetic Egg’ morphs into something completely new sounding as we’re treated to a thrilling musical break that is full of golden hued sonic swirls and that brilliant saxophone line that both thrills and interest all at once. The track builds into a maelstrom of atmospheric instrumentation as it deftly works through its sonic gears with aplomb. Is it really strange that I’m hearing hints of Jeff Buckley swirling within those addictive vocal lines? Absolutely stunning. Coming in at nine minutes plus ‘Synthetic Egg’ is by far my favourite track on this entire release.
Track two ‘Self-Love’ is an extension of sorts to the opening track but it has its roots firmly stuck deep within a cacophony of swirling, droning guitar swells and explosive instrumentation. It drives a sonic trench through proceedings and expertly bookends that opening track. Wild but atmospheric percussive hits announce the arrival of track three ‘I Used To Think’ before that soaring vocal line becomes the focal point as reverberating guitar structures circumnavigate the entire track giving off a brilliantly vivid ambient hue as they swirl within the sonic whirlwind. Both the guitar and vocal tracks systematically loop and arc side by side, right across the sonic ether as the track meanders and dances expertly like some imaginary ballroom dancing couple. A brilliantly executed track.
The EP’s closing piece entitled ‘The Revue’ leans more towards noise rock as its driving opening patterns take shape before the veil falls away and we’re treated to a beautiful cacophony of addictive guitars, stunning vocal production, sparse percussion and intense atmosphere. ‘The Revue’ is a sonic journey all in itself as it’s eleven minutes plus of shimmering psychedelic brilliance envelopes the listener, lifts you up and carefully pulls you with it into its inner swirling cyclone. This is sonic heaven of immense proportions and it’s recommended that you listen to it via headphones just to experience its sheer sonic abandonment that it holds. It explodes from the break into a stalking sonic cheetah chasing down its prey. A stunning finale to an utterly brilliant EP.
Manchester based psych aficionados 'W.H Lung' have unleashed a seriously infectious track in the guise of their debut single 'Inspiration', a blistering motorik slice of experimental modern day psych. The band released the track back on November 25th via their own label 'Hed Glo Inc'. The track is available via Apple Music, etc etc and as free download via the bands soundcloud page, although it is limited to the first 100 people!
'Inspiration' enters into earshot on a repetitious instrumental drone before the bass frequencies build and the motorik rhythms take hold. The percussion swirls as hypnotically undulating synth swells usher in those hard hitting vocals underscored by tremulous guitar squall and swathes of reverb to collectively meander through sonic peaks and troughs and on into the musical ether. This is a triumphant debut single from a band who we will definitely be watching going forward into 2017.
RELEASE: Fever Dreams
Toronto based noisy shoegaze duo 'Tonemirror' have unleashed their six track debut EP 'Fever Dreams' to the masses via their bandcamp page. The band exploded onto the underground scene back in June 2016 with their debut single & Primal Radio fav 'Supermoon' and pretty soon caught the attention of a fair few online radio Dj's with their no nonsense, hard hitting blend of noisy shoegaze underscored with post-hardcore tendencies and coupled vocally with subtle dream-pop sensibilities! The band are made up of Jake Lehman - guitar/vocals & Robby Sedran - drums and the 'Fever Dreams' EP is available to buy/download right to from:tonemirror.bandcamp.com
Fever Dreams EP by Tonemirror
Jangling guitars and echoing reverberation announces the arrival of 'Lost' and it's gloriously evident to me that these guys love brash & fuzzy frequencies. The drums erupt as those swirling guitar progressions wrap themselves around a brilliantly executed vocal and drag this track through walls of noise & crashing cymbal splashes. Up next, 'Smile' swirls woozily into earshot on a wave of almost ethereal sounding guitar and above all I'm instantly hooked with just how live the drum track sounds! It's impressively explosive and injects atmosphere into the entire track as it's vocal track arrives, held fast within an addictive slacker vibe that is brilliantly reminiscent at times to early 90's shoegaze stalwarts 'Swervedriver'. Track three has captivated me ever since I first heard it back in June. 'Supermoon' builds & creeps like a stalking animal as those guitars weave a shimmering sonic web of reverberation and instil a blissful edge to proceedings. They spread out and envelope the hi-hat heavy percussive attack with ease allowing the vocal line to bleed into every facet of the tracks instrumentation. A stunning track and possibly my favourite on this entire release.
'Drag Me' announces itself on a tremulous frequential cloud as those jazz like percussive hits skittishly arrive coupled with another impressive vocal track. It's not long before the track explodes and pulls you into its soaring chorus, filled with lead licks, psychedelic swirls, mind bending reverberation and driving guitar drones. The EP's penultimate piece is growling, noisy beast! 'XYZ' drives and pulses angry guitars steadied by explosive percussion and wailing vocals that collectively creates a massive wall of highly addictive fuzzy noise. Absolutely immense! 'Fever Dreams' closes out out with 'Asomnia', a skulking forlorn passage filled with dark, atmospheric instrumentation and wailing vocalisations courtesy of Jake Lehman. A fitting ending to a rather impressive debut EP.
Just Like Leningrad by The Orange Kyte
Vancouver based psych outfit 'The Orange Kyte' have unleashed the penultimate track on their mammoth sonic expedition to release one track per month for 2016! This latest track is called 'Just Like Leningrad' and as per it's 11 predecessors it packs a serious melodious punch! 'The Orange Kyte' are made up of Steve Moonboots & a revolving door of likeminded musicians. Piloting the good ship Orange Kyte on this voyage are Stevie Moonboots - Guitars/Vocals, Mat Durie - Organ, Dave Mulvaney - Drums/Percussion, Robin Schroffel - Bass, Additional guitar by Kyle McQueen of Strange Things, Trumpet by Caton Diab & Trombone by Jonah Kya Goksøyr. 'Just Like Leningrad' is available to buy/download right now from: theorangekyte.bandcamp.com
'Just Like Leningrad' swirls in a circulian spiral of melodious frequencies where the droning organ holds court and those infectious vocals ride a tempestuous percussive assault. The refreshing addition of a brass section adds blistering depth as guitars & throbbing bass lines undulate thus weaving a seriously heady sonic brew.
ARTIST: LSD And The Search For God
RELEASE: Heaven Is A Place
RELEASE DATE: 15th January 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Deep Space Recordings
Back in January 2007, San Francisco based psychedelic wonders ‘LSD And The Search For God’ unleashed a beautifully melodic, hazy & down right fuzzy collection of five tracks on their self titled debut EP that blew me away from my very first listen! Steeped in glorious reverb & musically reminiscent of Spacemen 3, The Telescopes & early ‘Creation Records’ drone practitioners My Bloody Valentine, ‘LSD And The Search For God’ told sonic tales brimming with dreamy duel boy/girl vocals, straddling beautifully fuzzy space rock jams. Fast forward nine years to 2016 and the band are back with another astonishing collection of 5 psychedelic stories glistening with the same spaced out ingredients that blew my mind way back in 2007. The ‘Heaven Is A Place’ EP is real, it’s not a figment of my imagination & it follows on from copious amounts of touring, collaborations with UK based psych gazing stalwarts ‘The Telescopes’, the addition of new members & building up a massive cult following throughout those nine years, all the while deliberately teasing us with the promise of a new release! This is a full on fuzzed out confession told through the medium of sound and picks right up where the bands debut left off. ‘LSD And The Search For God’ are made up of Chris Fifield – Guitar, Sofia Campbell – Vocals, Ryan Lescure – Bass, Ricky Maymi – Drums & Andy Liszt – Guitars / Vocals and this latest release was unleashed via the brilliant ‘Deep Space Recordings’.
Heaven Is a Place by LSD and the Search for God
The EP opens up with the immense ‘Heaven’, a swirling, droning maelstrom of layered reverberating sound straddling a thundering drum beat and that blissful vocal arrangement courtesy of Campbell & Liszt. This is a sonically charged slice of euphoric brilliance. Up next, ‘(I Don’t Think That We Should) Take It Slow’ is a melodically fuzzed up psych behemoth dipped in shimmering reverb and trapped within a whirlwind of hazy simmering sound-waves. Probably my favourite track on the whole release is ‘Outer Space (Long Way Home)’. This track slowly shuffles into the sonic ether with ease & I’m mesmerised with it’s addictive guitars & fuzzy droning undercurrent. Andy Liszt adds a lazy vocal to proceedings but its only when the sublime duel vocal hits and everything gets subsumed within the swirling guitars, throbbing bass & pounding drums that we are treated to something truly wonderful.
‘Elizabeth’ starts slowly with a melodic guitar line intertwined with that now trademark psychedelic droning swirl until the drums start & again we’re treated to another immense vocal arrangement. There is a definite ‘Creation Records’ sound here (although do I hate lumping modern day bands into the “Creation Records” category!) & it does swirl around the overall ascetic of this EP but ‘LSD And The Search For God’ have added something special to proceedings and thus have taken it to a whole new modern level. The EP’s closing track ‘Without You’, the longest track on the EP , is an immensely euphoric chunk of expressively edgy psych-gaze that erupts after 5 minutes, unleashing a monstrous swirling sonic wall of noise. Vocally brilliant in its entirety ‘Without You’ will leave you wanting to hear more.
‘LSD And The Search For God’ have released something really special in my opinion (Not that my opinion really matters in the grand scheme of things) but none the less, ‘Heaven Is A Place’ has instantly catapulted itself into my top 10 releases of this year and it will take something really, really special to remove it.
ARTIST: Is Bliss
RELEASE: Velvet Dreams
RELEASE DATE: October 21st 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Club AC30
The brilliant London based independent record label 'Club AC30' have been nurturing some fantastic worldwide artists from the psych/gaze/electronic & dream-pop genres for quite some time now. Their list of rostered artists has brought us some serious heavy hitters such as 'Flyying Colours, Pinkshiunyultrablast and Ringo Deathstarr' to name just a few. Now they've unleashed a veritable sonic triumph is the guise of the debut EP entitled 'Velvet Dreams' by Portsmouth based trio 'Is Bliss'. This band are causing quiet a stir right now within the underground fraternity with their no nonsense, full on, psych induced reverberations! They are made up of Jimmy Stuart - vox/guitar, Dean Edwards - bass & Sam Speakman - drums and they have already graced the stage with the likes of Wolf Alice, Telescopes, Nine Black Alps, Mark Gardener and Robin Guthrie. The vinyl edition of 'Velvet Dreams' (limited to 300) has already sold out over on the record labels website store.clubac30.com so if you missed out on this immense debut EP, then you will just have to take our word for it! It is absolutely magnificent.
The EP opens up with 'Morning Sun', a beautifully effervescent track full of esoteric sound waves and translucent sonic frequencies. Driving percussion and throbbing bass lines hold court as those impressive guitar lines weave effortlessly in and out of haunting vocal progression's courtesy of Jimmy Stuart. 'Morning Sun' surges forward on wave after wave of brilliant reverberation, reminiscent at times to early Verve or Creation Records era Telescopes. Up next, the immense 'Realise' enters into earshot on a steadying drum pattern coupled with a melodious baseline and another impressive lead guitar progression. It explodes stunningly into a cacophony of beautiful noise as it's chorus parts take flight and soar into the ether, all the while circumnavigating that brilliant vocal and those massive walls of guitars just to lead us on merry dance until we're dumped out the other side like a geek at school disco. 'Realise' is absolutely Immense and not for the faint hearted.
'Truth' growls into existence on punctuating bass frequencies and luscious guitar squall before unleashing a huge wall of instrumentation that is just about big enough to carry those 'angry young man' vocal lines! The guitars wail and scream brilliantly as this track launches itself skywards, dragging every single fucking listener with it as the torturous screams of Jimmy Stuart echo into forever. A triumphant track and possibly my favourite on this entire EP, 'Truth' is a sonic call to arms for a society in ruins. The EP's penultimate piece entitled 'Ocean Blue' swirls into the ether on an instrumental drone as the drum track winds up and pulses out a metronomic beat, coupled with the underlying swing of tabla, shakers & tambourine hits all enveloped around Stuart's impressive vocalisations. The collective result puts a kind of swirling hypnotic hue on proceedings as those eastern esoteric vibes undulate and meld with cascading sitar, throbbing bass frequencies and those psychedelically intense guitars.
The EP's closing piece is a psych induced monster coming in at eight minutes plus. 'Lure' has a menacing drone creeping down it's central spine as the instrumentation builds and lurches forward on it's pre-destined course. Addictive bass lines and almost prog rock like guitars swim effortlessly in a sea of reverberation as those wailing vocals ride a slow processional drum pattern, meandering deftly and without hindrance. 'Lure' begins to gain momentum now and we're thrown headlong into a maelstrom of effortless instrumentation and immense sonic abandonment with it's pounding drums and screaming lead guitar lines echoing into a raging finale.
If the underground music fraternity are looking for a champion to nail their colours to, they've found it in these five tracks by the brilliant 'Is Bliss' ...... This is music!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: