RELEASE: Maybe Sometime Soon
RELEASE DATE: 9th August 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Sydney-based sonic aficionados 'Trillion' was originally formed by two best friends during the heady days of the first shoegaze genesis, before disbanding to focus on the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Now, after over a decade of hibernation their swirling brand of alternative led shoegaze with subtle dream-pop tendencies has become increasingly relevant, this time with an added injection of modern musical influences and far superior advancements in recording techniques. Their fantastic new seven track EP entitled 'Maybe Sometime Soon' was initially recorded as a duo although they have recently expanded to a five piece with an eye on live shows and more expansive recording. 'Maybe Sometime Soon' was officially self-released back on the 9th August 2018 and is available right now to buy/download via trillion1.bandcamp.com
Maybe Sometime Soon by Trillion
The EP opens up trembling on woozy guitar progression drenched in sizzling reverb. 'Alone' dives headlong into a melodic sonic stew as fizzing layers of guitar ride steady lines of percussion and the deep boom of delicious bass frequencies hover alongside, delicately complimented by the cutting tone of the vocals. Intricate lines of lead guitar intertwine with catchy chord sequences allowing space for the reverb to breathe and lift the higher guitar tones out into the ether. Deeply melancholic, 'Alone' transports the listener back to those heady early 90's sounds as it floats effortlessly on the sonic ether. Up next, the bellowing collectiveness of heavy bass and charging guitars announces the arrival of 'Drive Away' and we're bowled over as that thunderous percussive attack leads the charge and we crash into a wall of tingling instrumental melody. There are hints of the melodic side of seminal shoegaze stalwarts Ride and sheer fuzzed out mayhem of Swervedriver coursing through the veins of this track that are very hard to shake. The arrival of the vocal, pulled back into the mix, adds intense depth and brilliant atmospherics as those swirling clouds of frequency laden reverb ebb and flow through passages of driving instrumentation and huge cavernous breaks. 'Drive Away' is absolutely brilliant and a definite highlight for me on this release.
'Maybe Sometime Soon' begins like a modern dream-pop track until it explodes into a riot of colour and fuzz. It's off tempo percussion is slightly disorientating at first and it takes a while to figure out just whats going on, but my god, when everything comes into focus instrumentally this track is powerful. The duel vocal works well here and I love how those those huge walls of fuzzed out guitars sit on top of the cascading bass line as meandering lead guitar sews everything together. Up next, 'So Serene' does exactly as it says on the tin. Ethereal instrumentation highlights the bands subtle dream-pop leanings as swirling layers of reverb bounce on top of that mesmerising bass line and the steady pitter patter of percussion carries a distinctly post-punk hued vocal line into a charging MBV styled break. Its another mesmerising highlight and a serious recommendation from me. 'Stars In The Sky' screams JAMC and those dizzying line of percussion are reminiscent of early creation era Primal Scream but it's the production on this track that catches the ear. Again the vocal lines seem to keep everything grounded here as just below the mix as the overruling influences of MBV are evident in those screaming lines of guitar.
'Hold On', the EP's penultimate piece, swirls into audible range trapped in a shimmering cloud of golden frequencies as the swoosh of tambourine and the jangle of guitar bubble on top of a cascading bass progression. The arrival of the percussion sets us off at marching speed as the vocals arrive, pushed back into the mix and we float into that soaring tambourine filled break. Catchy chord changes filled with fuzzier moments of sonic reflection shatter the quieter verse perspective as that ever present boom of bass caught up in those thunderous drum rolls continue to captivate this listener. The EP finally closes out with 'Desert Song' and we're swept up on lines of woozy guitars and slow moving drum patterns. Another brilliant bass progression bouncing just below the mix lifts everything up superbly as swirling waves of guitar and deep pools of diminished reverb drench the collective instrumentation. Subtle highlights of melodic guitar and undulating synth add to the overall atmospherics as we lurch through soaring shoegaze peaks and on into booming troughs of alternative led production. It's a fitting ending to a marvellously melancholic EP.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, post-punk & 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 (Now On Hiatus). 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 genres 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: Parrot Dream
RELEASE: Light Goes
RELEASE DATE: August 24th 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Good Eye Records
'Light Goes' is the debut LP from Brooklyn-based dream-pop/psych-pop outfit Parrot Dream. It’s a neat combination of old school alternative bands (such as the Cocteau Twins) and newer, sleeker sounding dream-pop bands like Beach House and Memory House. Everything is sort of here: the breathy female vocals, the wizzingly bright synths, the reverb guitar, the drum machine-esque beats and, finally, that weird place between nostalgia and retrospective abandonment that only dream-pop can capture. With this in mind however, Parrot Dream don't really ride the genre in a new and wholly original direction. They use what’s already lying around to create their collective sound; albeit with a nifty talent for song writing and production. The band on this release is made up of Christina Hansen Appel (Kiki) - vocals/keys, Gonzalo Guerrero - guitar, Matt Sklar - bass & Agustin Faundez Rojas - drums/ percussion. 'Light Goes' had it's official release back on the 24th August 2018 via Good Eye Records and is available to buy/download right now on various formats from parrotdream.bandcamp.com
The opener and titular track starts things off brilliantly; guitar and keyboards weave over a simplistic drum beat that rolls tiredly along. The vocals add to this already catchy and soft texture. Here the band are accurately playing upon the ‘pop’ side of dream-pop; the song provides an enjoyably laidback introduction into the album. ‘Follow Me’ takes a more ballad-like approach, the vocals are breathy and whispered and the tempo has been laid back even more. However, this song lacks the catchiness of opener ‘Light Goes’ and seems to pale in comparison somewhat. Unfortunately, this type of slow-burn songwriting continues on ‘1740’, which doesn’t really go anywhere beyond the point of a collection of instruments playing an unconnected tune. Thankfully, the following track pulls the show back together; ‘Paradise and Prey’ features a calming backing synth and the occasional guitar plucking to forge a calming image in the listeners mind. The sound captures a band in unison, with the vocals sounding more connected to the rest of the instrumentation as a whole. ‘Julio’ is an album highlight: the intricate drum beats, weaving throughout a slow synth line and the usual guitar plucking create a different approach to the type of textures previously explored throughout the album. The vocals shine (perhaps the most interesting vocal performance on the album) in a manner similar to the aforementioned melding of Memory House.
‘By Your Side’ continues this, its opening showcasing the power of a dream pop-based soundscape. Following this, the contemplative side of dream-pop happily follows as the band perform with a deeper and more concentrated sound. ‘Fall Forward’ is a neat, post-punk hued tune which envelops into a more beautiful, whimsical place as the song rolls on. The instrumentation here, mixed with the high vocals, makes for a beautifully rich and engaging sound. ‘Cloudchaser’ seems to be the pinnacle of the previous group of songs: it collects the best elements of Parrot Dream into one song, projecting something both enjoyable and well written. Here the performances finally connect perfectly with the production and mixing, creating a credible album highlight. The darker and challenging ‘Ode to Octavia’ is just as interesting, collecting up all the previously mentioned elements of dream-pop and twisting them to sound more like a question than a thought. ‘Helium’ proves to be one of the best songs on the album, lasting longer than other tracks and combining thoughts and sketches into long winded instrumental passages. The second half especially sounds like somewhat of a homage to shoegaze; guitars climb, drums smash and vocals soar.
'Light Goes', as previously mentioned, is not exactly a wholly new, original take on the dream-pop genre. Its cards are placed with a historical retrospective and a familiarity that the band actually plays to its strength throughout. And often Parrot Dream and their use of dream-pop practices is actually quite refreshing because it relies on nothing more than quality song writing and performance rather than explorative elements. At times, of course, this is a hinderance. Most predominantly on the first half of the album, songs seem like album fillers or slight re-hashes of other music you’ve heard before. Thankfully the second half of 'Light Goes' seems to recover and realise the correct direction that songs and tracks should be taken in. Interestingly enough, I often find myself weighing up the amount of songs on albums by particular bands, seen here in a sort of contemplative footnote in the second half of the review. Without going too deeply into critical points, I believe that 'Light Goes' may have too many songs on it. Much like many of the releases I’ve heard lately through this blog, the extent of track listings are stretched to ten or more tracks, with no hugely variant elements found from track to track, making the album seem like more of a forced odyssey than an interesting adventure. Parrot Dream are almost an exception though, as the second half seems to pick up the pace and set things a little more ‘on course’. Compliments to the performances and production, the album cover (a fantastic picture that truly captures the songs on the album) and the overall sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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 Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian-based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
by Primal Music
Golden Sun by Citrus Clouds
One of our favourite bands at the minute, the ever brilliant Phoenix-based trio 'Citrus Clouds', have been busying themselves behind the scenes working on some new material that will eventually go on to form the basis of a full release sometime in 2019. For now though, they've just released a little taster of whats to come in the guise of their new two track aptly named 'Golden Sun' (b/w 'Nothing Familiar'), a superb follow up to last January's beautiful 'You Loved Me First' single (lifted from the immense 'Ultra Sound' EP originally released back in September 2017 via Custom Made Music).
With a sound that centres around melody infused shoegaze that's filled with a unlabored and dreamy under current of dream-pop, 'Citrus Clouds' create catchy reverb laden soundscapes befitting of this modern day resurgence of the sound. 'Golden Sun' is seamlessly impressive and this in turn only bodes well for the full release in 2019.
The band consists of Stacie Huttleston - bass/vocals, Erick Pineda - guitar/vocals & Angelica Pedrego - drums. 'Golden Sun' was officially released back on July 30th 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via citrusclouds.bandcamp.com
Self styled 'space-gazers' and Hong Kong natives 'Thud' have just unleashed a brand new video to accompany their latest single entitled 'Ado', produced by the band themselves in Hong Kong and mixed in Leeds over in the UK by the ever prolific Matthew Johnson at Suburban Home Studio (Hookworms, Eagulls, The Spook School). 'Thud' are made up of Andy & Sky on guitars, Wang - bass, Wai - drums and Kim on vocals/synth. 'Ado' is released via long term collaborators 'Songs For Children' and a new UK-based indie label 'Ghost Crew Records'. The video was directed by Neo Yeung and the single 'Ado' b/w 'Still Still' is available right now digitally HERE and is released later in the year on 7" vinyl.
'Ado' is a slice of summer sun drenched in luscious reverb with the ability to soar into the ether at will with layers of guitar, swells of synth and pounding percussion all enveloping a stunning vocal line. Simply magnificent.
Sooner / Paris by Soft Science
Hailing from Sacramento Valley, 'Soft Science' flirt beautifully with a heady blend of shimmering pop orientated song structures deftly infused with 90's era shoegaze sensibilities, melodic dream-pop and a subtle understated tinge of 60's era guitar bands. The band are made up of Katie Haley - vocals, Matt Levine - guitar, Ross Levine - drums/backing vocals & Mason DeMusey on bass. 'Sooner' is the second single to be lifted from their forthcoming & highly anticipated long player 'Maps' (available to pre-order HERE) penned in for release via the California-based independent label 'Test Pattern Records' on June 1st 2018 and it follows on from the albums brilliant lead track 'Undone' which was officially released back in April 2018.
'Sooner' soars into the ether on cyclonic waves of simmering synth, humming bass and jangling guitars that all meld effortlessly with those dreamy vocalisations courtesy of Katie Haley. Catchy chorus changes reminiscent of seminal era Lush are intensely captivating here also as are those twinkling tambourine shakes that arrive sporadically to ride that steady percussive swagger. The B-side to this single is a cover version of Northern Picture Library’s 1994 track ‘Paris’ originally released on another one of those covers compilations from TBTCI Records. As cover versions don't really float our boat here at Primal Music we'll leave it up to you to decide on this tracks viability.
'Sooner/Paris' is available to buy/download right now via testpatternrecords.bandcamp.com
ARTIST: Soft Wounds
RELEASE: The Last EP
RELEASE DATE: 9th March 2018
'Soft Wounds' are a Toronto-based shoegaze/alt-rock duo who base their influence's off 90's era shoegaze and dream-pop; creating noise/filtered textures and filters that lay softly over the structure of linear alt-rock tracks. 'The Last EP' captures a colourful mixture of downtrodden and emotive alt-rock tunes which generally centre around a style of vocalization that sounds almost as if it is floating. Accompanying this are catchy guitar riffs and a melodic rhythm section that precisely captures the emotive state of the sounds at the forefront of the music. The band are made up of Charlie Berger and Matt Rimon. 'The Last EP' was officially released back on March 9th 2018 and is available to buy/download right now via softwounds.bandcamp.com
The Last EP by Soft Wounds
‘Story’ opens up proceedings on the EP, wherein the bands texturing is put on full display as the noise-laden backing to the music is covered by reverb soaked guitars and the rhythmic backdrop of drums. The guitars also feature the kind of heavy FX and audio manipulation found on some of the most seminal shoegaze releases of the past. If one were to pair back the guitar FX and un-dampen some of the background sounds, the song would present a more classic post-punk feeling; structurally it also echoes this frame. ‘Her Ghost’ takes the emotive soundscapes further, and slows down the tempo for an almost ballad like setting. Much like on ‘Story’ the riffs that weave in and around the rest of the instrumentation become the catchy centrepiece for the sound to float around upon. Of special note is the second half of the track and the soft sounds of the pre-outro where the tweaking pick of the guitar melds beautifully with the rhythm section. ‘Wide Open’ may be the best song on the EP: the riffs and layering of the sound offers a great line in the sand between all out FX guitar driven washdown and restrained and a more conservative guitar practice. The band gel together on ‘Wide Open’ perhaps most strongly than on any other song; somehow making the song sound strongly rehearsed but also slightly jam-oriented at the same time?
‘On The Fence’ sounds closer t0 a kind of dark dream-pop than it does to shoegaze or heavy alt-rock, however, its instrumentation remains the same as on previous track. In the context of the EP, as well as the strength of the previous songs, ‘On the Fence’ would potentially be the least interesting and engaging track on the EP. Why? It seems like elements of previous songs are re-used, which is fine, but they are disused in a uninteresting and unoriginal way, making it sound as though its features the weakest elements of the EP. Interestingly enough, ‘Watch You’, which follows on is one of the EP's greatest triumphs, introducing dynamic musical elements as well as the shimmering guitar sounds we all associate with shoegaze. ‘Finally’ is in some senses, Soft Wounds culmination of previously explored musical elements into one lengthy practice. The inclusion of beautiful background humming synths in the intros truly capture the beauty that seems to flow from the song.
On this EP 'Soft Wounds' truly hone their craft and capture, utilize and present their own sound for the listener. Their own sound, it should be noted, is in a sense a collective channel of influential bands in and around the genres of shoegaze, dream-pop, alt-rock and more. Where many bands utilize this influence, it is generally abused in a derivate sense more so than a transformation from something done into something original. My main criticism of the EP is by far the vocals. Whether it’s the production or mixing, or whether it’s the vocals themselves I’m not entirely sure; all there is to say is that they become overly whingy and at points present themselves so holy angelic and clean sounding that it is almost a distraction from the music itself. Also on some points the mixing makes things, specifically sounds in the background and the drums, murky and damp to the listener. Beyond that the EP is engaging and strong; most specifically through production and sound.
ARTIST: Moon Loves Honey
RELEASE: You Drift Away From Me
RELEASE DATE: 17th April 2018
Danish based dream-gazers ‘Moon Loves Honey’ have just self-released their debut nine track long player entitled 'You Drift Away From Me', the follow up to their stunning 2016 self-released debut EP 'Apart'. Their collective sound comprises of a hazy mix of melodic dream-pop deftly underscored with intricate indie-pop sensibilities, subtle C86 influences and blissfully layered shoegaze. Initially the brainchild of solo multi-instrumentalist Jeppe Dengsø, 'Moon Loves Honey' functions in the studio primarily as a one man band with various players and friends helping out on live duties when required. Jeppe Dengsø played most of the instruments on this album himself except; drums on tracks 1, 6, 7, 8 and 9 by Ludvig Kastberg & backing vocals on tracks 7 and 8 by Stine Drejer. 'You Drift Away From Me' was officially released back on the 17th April 2018 and is available to buy/download right now on various formats including lovely limited availability 12" vinyl via moonloveshoney.bandcamp.com
You Drift Away From Me by Moon Loves Honey
Beautifully translucent progressions announce the arrival of ‘To Be Without You’, the opening piece on this magnificent selection of tracks. Frequencies shimmer and flow through layers of stunning reverberation and the twinkle of synth as it’s melodic vocalisations arrive and instantaneously wash this listener in a wave of blissed out dream-pop interspersed by a glorious C86 haze. The constant pulse of synth, that slow & repetitive bedrock of percussion and those catchy chord structures are lusciously addictive whilst the bubble of cascading bass frequencies are also joy to hear. It’s a very strong opening salvo indeed. Up next, ‘Lonely Day’ fizzes into life straddling a lo-fi percussive swagger as swirling synth and jangling guitars take centre stage, both tumbling gracefully through the pitter patter of reverb and those catchy percussive fills. Instant melody fills the senses as lines of vocal arrive meandering in and out of catchy lines of keyboard with ease allowing the track to breathe. ‘Lonely Day’ leans a little bit into indie-pop territory although there are brilliant passages of dreaminess that simmer just below the mix.
‘You Drift Away From Me’ begins with some lo-fi percussive trickery before opening up into a wall of blissed out instrumentation absolutely drenched in swathes of sticky reverb. It swerves into the ether rocking brilliantly on a repetitive drum pattern as soaring lines of synth ride bouncing bass frequencies and hazy progressions of guitar. It’s verse parts are captivating as the collective instrumentation within envelops another impressive vocal performance and carefully guides us into that massive chord change and on out into the huge verses. ‘You Drift Away From Me’ is endearingly sublime and a definite highlight for me on this release. Up next, ‘Im Falling Out Of Love With You Baby’ swoons gracefully on shimmering lines of synth as ‘Moon Loves Honey’ dive headlong into a dreamy indie-pop haze once more. Riding a catchy drum sequence, this track has some fantastic highs but leans a bit too much into pop for me to comment on. Although those gorgeous chorus changes do introduce us to some fantastic vocal harmonies. The instrumentally aligned and ambient leaning ‘Blâ’ is simply captivating. It inspires images of frost laden landscapes and huge star filled skies whilst ‘Is It Just A Dream’ connects effortlessly as surging synths and pounding percussion unleashes the bands shoegaze side. Soaring guitars ride tempestuous layers of reverb as they accompany stunning lines of vocal out into the sonic ether. Those cascading bass lines are brilliant and they merge meandering lead lines, intricate melodies and some fantastic production. ‘Is It Just A Dream’ is a triumph and possibly my favourite track on this entire release.
‘Before I Crash’ begins with a single atmospherically repetitive synth line that quickly builds into a melee of beautifully layered sonic frequencies. This track explodes with melody as it’s soaring guitars, driving percussion and cascading lines of synth loop and arc throughout, deftly circumnavigating those blissfully ethereal, light and airy vocalisations. The albums penultimate piece comes in the form of ‘Should Have Waited’. A beautifully entrancing keyboard line pulses on a wave of reverb and it instils a kind of calmness over proceedings before this track explodes into a cloud of kaleidoscopic sonic waves and washes over the listener completely. Dual vocalisations filled with pockets of harmony swirl and ebb alongside shimmering guitars and busy percussion as the throb of addictive bass frequencies glide alongside glorious lines of lead guitar and the constant twinkle of synth. The instrumentation on this track is excellent and it crashes against layers of glistening reverberation with ease allowing those vocals to breathe gracefully. ‘Should Have Waited’ is another album highlight for me. The album closes out with the ambient stylings of ‘Replaced’. Coming in at a whopping ten minutes long this track falls headlong into a pool of swirling reverb as Jeppe Dengsø injects different layers filled with the beautiful melodics of C86, dream-pop, the subtle haziness of shoegaze and lashings of alternative atmospherics. There are highs, lows and some little psychedelic flourishes here also that bubble up from time to time and I can’t help but feel that this track was written to highlight a relationship breaking down or some lost love or other. Either way, it’s an absolutely magnificent ending to a wonderful debut album.
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream-pop, postpunk & 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 (Now On Hiatus). 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 genres 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: the Autumn Sighs
RELEASE DATE: 10th February 2018
RECORD COMPANY: Dreams Never End Records
Immense German-based trio 'The Autumn Sighs' have returned with a stunning brand new five track release entitled 'Green' the follow up to their mesmerising 2016 released EP 'Branches'. With a sound that meanders gracefully through melodious and dreamy swathes of blissful dream-pop infused shoegaze coupled with soaring chorus progressions, thunderous drum patterns and addictively hazy instrumentation, 'The Autumn Sighs' have released what is quite possibly one of our favourite EP's of 2018 so far. The band are made up of Katha - guitars/vocals, Ulrik - guitars/effects/ebow, Denis - drums and Florian Malicke appearing on bass for this release. The 'Green' EP was officially released back on February 10th 2018 via 'Dreams Never End Records' and is available to buy/download on various formats including lovely 12' vinyl right now from both dreamsneverend.bandcamp.com & theautumnsighs.bandcamp.com respectively.
green by The Autumn Sighs
In a swirling haze of instrumental drones, hushed progressions and layered reverberations the dreamy opening tones of ‘Intro’ wash shimmering frequencies out into the sonic ether. This wall of blissful noise accommodates haunting vocalisations that swoop and arc throughout as repetitive progressions of guitar billow and swirl at will. Up next, ‘Green’ twinkles and purrs as it’s jangling guitars pull beautifully entrancing progressions out into audible range. ‘The Autumn Sighs’ channel their inner Slowdive here as those immense vocal lines ride the waves of pulsing reverb and that instantaneous injection of noisier guitars. Rumbling percussion bubbles up from below the mix as the throb of enticing bass frequencies lull you into a blissfully hazy dream state and you guided into that huge wall of beautiful noise. ‘Green’ is absolutely entrancing and probably one of the best tracks that I think I’ve heard so far this year. It’s a monumental highlight for me on this entire release.
There’s a subtle air of post punk emanating from the opening bars of ‘She’s His’ that is instantly addictive. The hypnotic pull of the intricate guitar structures accompanied by dancing lines of lead and the throb of cascading bass progressions are collectively fantastic. Haunting lines of vocal meander and tease us as they float in and out of catchy chord structures, leading us gracefully by the hand until we eventually fall headlong into massive swathes of noisy reverberations only get dumped out the back end into tremulous layers of golden sonic frequencies. Up next, the EP’s penultimate piece floats into the ether held fast in a sullen kind of atmosphere. ‘Adorable’ sways gently on a slow moving metronomic tap as the jangle of guitars echo and swirl through heady clouds of reverb. Resonating frequencies wrap themselves around that beautiful vocal and cling to it as it tumbles into shimmering pools of exquisite production. We’re guided effortlessly through a melancholic sonic haze as if watching someone’s dreams get played out in front of us until eventually we drop into an angry sonic attack and the whole feel of the track changes. Distorted guitars soar skywards, that addictive bass line rises and falls just below a noisy percussive assault and we’re dragged into a raging sonic behemoth, churned around it’s insides until eventually we’re pulled into the tracks gentler finale. ‘Adorable’ is a stunning melding of sounds reminiscent at times to Slowdive & The Cranes or the downright rebellious nature of JAMC all wrapped up into one almighty sonic monolith. Its a triumph and a definite highlight on this release.
The EP closes out as it began. Swooning gracefully on beautiful instrumentation and the guiding reverberations of that immense guitar sound. Slow moving hi-hats tremble as jangling guitar strums usher in waves of instrumental drones and another impressive vocal performance. ‘Three’ is absolutely gorgeous and it welcomes you into it’s inner core with open arms and tells you a story. It makes you sit and listen to every single hushed word, makes you feel every twist and whirl of that soaring drone and lifts you up with it as you glide through the sonic ether and pulse through layers of ethereal joy. It's a brilliant book end to a completely entrancing EP.
Del Chaney has spent the last five years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk & 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 (Now On Hiatus). 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 genres 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: Flower Crown
RELEASE DATE: 20th October 2017
Looking for something that can simultaneously relax you into a summer daze and make you think and appreciate what you’re hearing? You’ve found it in 'GLOW' by Pittsburgh based duo 'Flower Crown', a release that takes it's dream pop from layers of deep crunch and the fuzz of borderline noise right back into a comforting, dreamy, sun-drenched breath of fresh air that evokes the same kind of moods as French based dream pop genius - 'Pastel Coast'. And much like Pastel Coasts various EP's, Flower Crowns album 'GLOW' triumphs because it doesn’t attempt to traverse new ground, rather, it sticks to what it knows… And sticks to it very well. Originally released back in October 2017, 'GLOW' is available to buy/download right now via flowercrownmusic.bandcamp.com
GLOW by Flower Crown
The album begins with the slow turn of ‘True Blue’; a mixture of dream pop guitar tones and slowly delicate percussion. Among the mix, the keyboard plays comfortably with the guitars and the vocals, which bounce around; propelled by reverb. ‘Web’ maintains a similar feel, although the tones and textures seem a tad deeper and perhaps also a tad darker. The song sounds like it could have comfortably come off either of the aforementioned Pastel Coast EPs, with its light but dense guitar playing and background hum. ‘Web’ stands as an album highlight; the chorus shines strongly among the waves of sound the band push out, patiently, comfortably and ultimately beautifully. ‘Bloodshade’ offers another fantastic chorus, as well as the continuation of the catchiness heard on previous tracks. The song also manages to balance a nice mixture of dream pop and an FX’d soaked alternative rock feel.
‘Moon Water’, from its opening ambience and single guitar plucking, also stands as an album highlight even if it is simply an intermission/interlude track; of note, the textured, light soundscape in the background succeeds in its subtleness and delicacy. The most introspective and nostalgic the band get can be found on the track ‘Frame and Frame’ which just so happens to also be one of the best tracks on the entire album. The songs beginning rolls around, evoking images of beaches, the tide washing in, and a clear blue sky, before dipping into a more alt-rock sound. The waves of echo and reverb can be heard on the brilliant ‘Pls’, which shows the bands excellent guitar playing in full stride, as well as a memorably patient yet downtrodden vocal performance; capturing the songs essence and the bands sound in a compelling and dreamy way. The ultra slow and dream-soaked ‘Rearview’ brings the tempo down to an almost slowcore level. The track utilizes dense background noise and ambience to remind the listener of the depth of both of the song itself and the sound around it. ‘Lady of the Lake’ continues this kind of laidback tempo, with the guitars plucking and strumming in perfect harmony with the slow beat of the drums. Altogether, the song stands as a kind of symbol for the rest of the album; slow, thoughtful, nostalgic and most importantly, sonically rewarding.
'Flower Crown' have released a successful dream pop album, crossing the lines between lazy yet comforting background music and intrinsically, provocatively picturesque listening. The performances, while slight, offer a rewarding and understandly dreamy listen. Fans of the genre will be impressed, and those who aren’t… will still be impressed. They’ll mostly be impressed by the mixing, the production, and perhaps most obviously, the clever and enjoyable 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 Baeble Music and Culture (USA), Sounds and Colours Magazine (Latin America, London), Easterndaze (Latvia) and the Australian based heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
Zine Days by FAWNS OF LOVE
California based dream-gazers 'Fawns of Love' have just unleashed the second single entitled 'Something Stupid' to be lifted from their brilliant brand new double a-sided 7' release 'Zine Days'. The band are made up of husband and wife team Jenny & Joseph Andreotti and their collective sound is a blissful sonic affair, filled to the brim with ethereal clouds of simmering reverberation, all delicately wrapped around gorgeous, melody strewn vocal lines and that punchy undercurrent of melodic guitar. 'Zine Days' is out now and is available to buy/download on various formats via fawnsoflove.bandcamp.com
'Something Stupid' bounds into audible range trembling blissfully on a tremulous guitar signature, deftly underscored with glistening lines of synth and the consistent pitter patter of sequenced percussion. Swirling vocal lines hug subtle bass frequencies as layers of reverb are pulled in and out of the piece by beautiful lead lines and that overpowering sense of dreaminess.