RELEASE DATE: November 18th 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Cleopatra Records
Programmed drums, dream pop guitars and the deep contextual influence of 80’s post-punk and ethereal wave combine with absolutely brilliant song writing on the debut album of Californian shoegaze/darkwave/post-punk band Echolust. 'Veldisa' is a sprawling, dark yet beautiful musical journey through moods and places, sounds and lyrics and contrastingly vivid soundscapes. Upon almost every track the band exercise some sort of gaze back into the past; but this act surpasses nostalgia and more offers commentary on thought and pondering. It’s beautiful and dream pop inspired guitar riffs support the slow and swinging music to fantastic degrees; expressing emotion through music with some wild sort of ease.
Veldisa by Echolust
‘1799’ opens the album with a dreamy guitar riff and a drum machine inspired by the double tap of the French coldwave and the early 80’s programmed beats of post-punk bands. Mixed within the song is the screech of a slow and winding synthesizer that seeps out when the soaring and wide chorus opens; offering a neat a song writing counterpoint to the language and sounds used within the verse of the song. The track retains a slow and winding quality which somehow never gets boring; an indication of a well written and instrumented song. ‘Cherry Dancer’ showcases the bands more shoegaze tendencies with its largely reverbed opening. The echoes of dream pop still linger however, so much so that ‘Cherry Dancer’ seems like a next door neighbour or companion piece to the more up tempo ‘1799’. From there the band leaps forward into a fantastically disco-darkwave inspired track titled ‘Dark Hair Girl’. The backing of the song sounds similar to an EDM/Dance style track; which contextually mixes well with the more alternative rock aspects that the song holds. The vocals remain deep and full of FX, which makes the singing sound like a direct instrument in the landscape of all of the instrumentation. ‘Dark Hair Girl’s best moments are when the vocals go higher and the band follow, showing off their talent of creating soaring style dream pop.
One of the greatest tracks on the entire album ‘Decor Blonde’ displays the band in full shoegaze swing; reverb drenched guitars and a slower and darker tempo. I believe it to be one of the greatest on the album simply for its fantastic wall of sound styled production; a form and style that adds a whole other dimension to shoegaze music. The lyrics also practice exactly what I mentioned before accompanied by the fantastic guitars and bass, they add an emotive element to the music and sound of the song. Praise also to the fantastic outro on the song, which takes on a whole brilliant sound of its own. ‘Doublespeak’ returns to a more post-punk formula but retains elements of the shoegaze sound explored on ‘Decor Blonde’. This song also takes the disco beats explored on ‘Dark Hair Girl’ a step further with a tight bass and drums section that sounds exactly like a R’n’B inspired track. ‘Doublespeak’ also relies more heavily upon the gradual tap of the programmed drums in the back of the mix. Perhaps the weakest song on the album is the darkwave heavy ‘Electric’; a lengthy and indulgent track with lyrics that seem like they were written by a completely different band than the previous tracks.
‘For Least Resistance’ brings things back into the bands sphere; featuring a synthwave drum and soundscape style of tone with the fancy shoegaze styles of the dream pop guitar. The track even features an experimental-trap influenced style drum machine beat throughout the song which melds into the music in an interesting and engaging way. The strange lo-fi/alt-rock genius of ‘This Blurry Kill’ shows another side of the bands talent of song-writing; tied off magically with the experimental soundscape stationed in the mix. The title track is another contender for the albums weakest song. It sounds somewhere between a B-side and a draft; featuring comedically confusing drum patterns and boring mid-tone vocals. Thankfully the band turn everything around with the fantastic ‘Velvet Holiday’ which rehashes all of the bands fantastic post-punk songs into a dark, more straight forward and heavy song. It’s almost as though Echolust wanted to connect the more synth and darkwave influenced side of their album with the more post-punk side and speaking of which, the atmospheric ‘Zombie Birds’ connects both sides together in sound with the dance influenced drum machine beats and the shoegaze styled bass, guitars and synth. Together this mixture creates something that sounds almost on the borderline of industrial music, something I suppose the band have constantly toyed with on the entire album. ‘Zombie Birds’ features a fantastic and mesmerizing intro that leads into the lyrically diverse verse and chorus in which the fantastic backing soundscapes and sneaky production sneak back into the song.
A few songs into Veldisa I wondered why the band wasn’t going pro; the songs were well-written, thoroughly beautiful, experimental and original pieces of brilliant music. After the opening few songs I was a little less mesmerized and by the second half I showed little-interest to the music, but the second half of the second half managed to turn it around and recapture some of the magic of the beginning. And that, in essence, is how Veldisa could be summed up. The album as a whole drags on and on and on (there are too many songs) and with less engaging songs in the middle, the listener just becomes more bored as the album plays through. In said mid-album area, the songs begin to sound more and more like clichéd and distant dance tracks thrown together to fill album space… But Veldisa doesn’t need album fillers. The band should have stuck to their guns and produced a more compact album with the same sharp and fantastic song writing skills displayed at the albums opening. For that reason Veldisa as a whole seems tiresome in structure, even when a lot of the songs are so well written.
The production is good, the mixing is great and the performances should also receive praise. Together these elements carry the album in its more paint-drying moments and prove that, although not throughout the total album, Echolust can produce a fantastic quality of song writing. I believe the opening few tracks are so good they almost carry the albums more weaker points and for that reason one should definitely listen intently to Echolust’s fantastic skills. These are achieved through mixing, production, performance and 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 the Australian heavy music blog, I Probably Hate Your Band.
by Primal Music
RELEASE DATE: November 25th 2016
RECORD COMPANY: These Are Not Records
Connecticut based experimental shoegaze/lo-fi four piece 'Landing' are no strangers to the underground music scene having no less than nine previous releases under their belts. The latest addition to that stunning collection is 'Complekt', their 10th release to date and a continuation to their no-nonsense, genre-defining attitude of creating blissful sonic soundscapes that are filled with hazy shoegaze highs and jaw dropping ethereal vocalisations coupled with experimental twists and lashings of glorious reverberation. The band are made up of three longtime members; Adrienne Snow - vocals, Aaron Snow - guitar/synth/bass/drums/vocals, Daron Gardner - bass & John Miller - drums/guitar/synth and you can pre-order the full album on various formats right now from: landing.bandcamp.com
Complekt by Landing
In a beautifully translucent instrumental drone ‘Complekt’ unfurls its effortless sonic tendrils to announce the arrival of it’s opening salvo - 'Light'. It pulses into earshot on a wave of quivering guitars and deliciously ambient swirls before it’s blissfully ethereal vocalisations sweep past you, held fast in swathes of immense reverberation. Up next, ‘Complekt’ swirls repetitiously before exploding into a driving cacophony of thunderous percussion, throbbing bass frequencies and a maelstrom of layered reverberating guitars. The vocal lines cut an ethereal wedge through proceedings, bringing a sort of serine clarity whilst all around them wage a sonic war of attrition. A stunning track that you must listen to via headphones to experience its full sonic onslaught.
‘Weft’ jangles into ear shot on an undulating bed of instrumental promise, sequenced synth theatrics and a shaking percussive pattern as it’s brilliantly executed guitar lines languish deep within swathes of luscious reverb, whilst the monumental ‘Shifts’ menacingly emerges from beneath an angry instrumental drone accompanied by hypnotic shakers and massive walls of ethereal noise. ‘Shifts’ undulates as its beautiful vocals swerve through cascading synth lines that float effortlessly through the sonic ether, looping and arcing with blissful aplomb. Up next, ‘Thither’ soars on a glorious synth swell before building into a throbbing sonic beast. This track pulses and swirls on a cloud of hazy electronics and sequenced atmospherics before we’re treated to a metronomic drum pattern, melodious bass frequencies and another beautiful vocal performance, constantly circumnavigated by reverberating guitars and cushioning synth swells. ‘Thither’ is immense and possibly my favourite track on this entire release.
‘Grow’ bleeps and swirls into existence on a bedrock of sequenced electronics and stunning guitar swells. It shimmers blissfully as it works through it’s sonic gears with aplomb, effortlessly floating unaided through layers of reverb and droning experimental instrumentation. Coming in at ten minutes plus ‘Grow’ is by far the longest track on the entire album and it doesn’t disappoint. It moves effortlessly through soaring guitars, pulsing synths and hypnotic percussion whilst pushing wave after wave of golden hued frequencies out into the sonic ether without breaking a sweat. The vocal lines weave a spell as they majestically intertwine with the entrancing sound waves. ‘Grow’ is a sonic triumph of immense proportions. The albums penultimate track entitled ‘Clouds II’ moves on a lazy percussive swagger albeit coupled with swirling guitars and the constant hum of a throbbing bass line. It’s vocal sits gracefully in the mix, gently leading this listener through a meandering pre-designated verse pattern and on into it’s soaring chorus parts. The albums closing piece however, shimmers on acoustic frequencies and soaring synth swells. ‘World’ switches from female to male lead vocals brilliantly as it builds into a trembling maelstrom of glorious reverberation and tremulous noise. A fitting ending to a marvellous album.
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.
RELEASE: Nothing Stays The Same
RELEASE DATE: November 1st 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Melbourne based experimental/psych/alt rockers 'BREVE' have self-released a stunning collection of tracks in the form of their debut album, brilliantly titled 'Nothing Stays The Same'. Having wowed us back in July with their then lead single we were eagerly waiting to get our mucky paws on the full ensemble and it did not disappoint. Their impressive take on the modern psych genre is absolutely breathtaking, so much so that I've given the album a rating of 5/5 and thats a rare occurrence for me. The band are made up of Dougal Shaw, Toby Fitzgerald & Billy Dowle and 'Nothing Stays The Same' is available to buy/download right now from: breveband.bandcamp.com
Nothing Stays The Same by BREVE
‘Nothing Stays The Same’ opens up with ‘Konecrane’, a turbulent droning monster that wears its experimental heart on its sleeve. This track builds menacingly from its very first swirling tone until the addictively repetitive lead guitar lines crawl and intertwine effortlessly with steady percussion and throbbing bass frequencies, eventually leading us into an immense sampled filled break and on into its glorious finale! Up next, ‘Introverse’ woozily enters earshot on dark synth swells and sequenced percussion before opening up into an electronically charged psych behemoth. The vocal lines ride a heady mix of explosive reverberating instrumentation deliciously underscored by the the constant hum and throb of the unmissable bass line. ‘Cold Sweat On A Sunday’ enters the fray and immediately entices this listener whilst ‘Nothing Stays’ bursts into a cacophony of noise as its explosive drum patterns and the brilliantly executed guitar lines circumnavigate those immense vocal's, echoing ‘Queens Of The Stone Age’ with its instrumental intensity.
Sequenced percussion and sampled atmospheric’s announce the arrival of ‘Nothing Is Permanent’ as those repetitious guitars and the brilliantly executed (but highly infectious) vocal line permeates effortlessly through layers of reverb. ‘Nothing Is Permanent’ surges half way through into an angry sonic beast, unleashing a torrent of swirling noise until eventually fading out into obscurity. ‘Movement’ crawls into earshot on a menacing drone and a darkly ambient repetitious sample as its fragile vocal lines add atmosphere. The guitars swirl and glide in and out of a hi-hat heavy breakbeat before dragging the angry vocals back into the mix and on into a tremulous finale. There’s an air of movie soundcheck chic on the opening salvo’s of ‘Human’ as its haunting samples float underneath swirling feedback and jangling guitars before ‘Breve’ unleash a driving experimental onslaught onto their listeners. Wailing vocals and intricate bass lines meld effortlessly with explosive drum patterns and screaming wah-wah heavy guitar progressions to give us a progressive/psych rock behemoth. Up next, ‘Connected’ bounces on a bed of sequenced percussion, swirling synth drone and attention grabbing shakers. The vocals arrive as the instrumentation bubbles angrily beneath the surface and those lead guitar lines undulate effortlessly, constantly keeping time with the ever hypnotic shakers. There’s a subliminal message pulsing through every single note of ‘Connected’ that gives two fingers to the social media world of today and we all should pay very close attention to it’s infectious mantra.
The albums penultimate track entitled ‘Feel’ has loose ambient stylings swirling deep within its opening progressions. A beautifully translucent vocal pierces the ether and adds a subtle psychedelic edge to proceedings as swirling drones and malicious atmospherics move and swerve before the track explodes into a glorious cacophony of bass heavy noise and rumbling drum patterns. The albums closing piece staggers on a repetitious percussive sample as we journey through a world of psychedelic enchantment tipped with prog rock finery. ‘Elevate’ has an absolutely immense swagger about it as the metronomic thud of the percussion drags it’s vocal lines and melodious bass frequencies through layers of reverberation constantly assaulted by a swirling instrumental drone and screaming guitar squall. This is a stunning finale to a magnificent debut album.
HEART 2 HEART by Soft Lashes
'Soft Lashes' is the solo effort of Chicago-based musician/producer, Michael Tenzer (Savage Sister, Eyes Behind the Veil, Lazy Legs). His latest dreamy single entitled 'Heart 2 Heart' is lifted off his forthcoming debut full length album 'Hypersensuality'. The track weaves and bobs blissfully through layers of cavernous reverb, with its swirling guitars deliciously underscored by luscious synth swells and repetitive sequenced percussion that expertly envelopes that ethereal vocal with aplomb. There's a distinctly 80's dream-pop sounding edge to this single thats reminiscent at times to the Cocteau Twins, Human League or early Tears for Fears.
'Heart 2 Heart' is available as 'Name Your Price' right now from: softlashes.bandcamp.com
It's All Gone by The Age of Colored Lizards
Norwegian based psychedelic dream gazers 'The Age Of Coloured Lizards' have released brand new track entitled 'It's All Gone' via their bandcamp page. With a sound that permeates a multiple of different layers in the music genre spectrum, taking in dreamy shoegaze, psych, noise rock & fuzzy alt-rock 'The Age Of Coloured Lizards' do not disappoint. 'It's All Gone' is available to buy/download right now from: theageofcoloredlizards.bandcamp.com
'It's All Gone' explodes into audible range swirling menacingly in a maelstrom of noisy fuzz & reverberation. The vocals arrive bringing with them an aura of peaceful solitude, cutting through the cacophony of tremulous frequential noise to deliver a stunning track filled with immense psych-gaze promise.
ARTIST: The Wedding Present
RELEASE: Going Going ...
RELEASE DATE: Out Now (UK/Europe) & December 2nd (USA)
RECORD COMPANY: HHBTM Records
Jangle pop meets post-rock meets a bit of this and a bit of that on Going, Going…, the ninth album by well-rounded and deeply influential UK indie heavyweights The Wedding Present. A band (you should probably have a listen to if you haven’t) who have remained a prominent player in the UK indie/alternative scene through a revolving line up and heavy touring. Going, Going… returns to the bands 80’s roots of alt-rock influenced pop rock; instead this time they throw in a jangling indie rock tone that has remained popular on indie record labels from the late 80s onward. This enticing package of genres and sounds is pulled off by the band on most of the album; allowing the listener to fully relish in The Wedding Present and their mature and provoking music and songs.
While on the most part Going, Going… contains moody indie and pop tracks, it in fact opens with four beautiful and engaging instrumental tracks. ‘Kittery’ mixes ambience with the heavy tinge of alternative rock and the neat sound textures that the band were well-known for in the past. On ‘Greenland’ the band reach their most experimental heights; the enjoyable and interesting song is built around swaying percussion. Over the top of the beats are coordinates read out in a lo-fi style; all of this connects together with a slight aroma of musique concrète as the beats play slowly. ‘Marblehead’ is absolutely beautiful, mesmerizing and refreshing in its instrumentation; which consists of a couple of beautiful vocal passages backed with the slow rat-a-tat-tat of the drums and the harp like sounds of guitar. Similarly ‘Sprague’ uses an array of string instruments and the tapping of the piano to create a sound akin to a film score; flowing and tirelessly majestic. And then the band dive deep into their signature sound of indie, jangle pop in the form of ‘Two Bridges’; a neat pop rock tune that jumps and creates a enjoyably danceable melody. The lyrics connect with the music in a brilliant and smooth way with the melody connecting with the easy (very English) vocals and drumming. The awkward ballad like song ‘Little Silver’ follows; which has brilliant post-punk inspired heavy alternative rock passages of music that seem too good for the awkward and almost childlike vocal passages. The performances on ‘Little Silver’ showcase the brilliant and subtle talent of all the insturmental players involved. ‘Bear’ uses the modern English lyrical talents of the band to create a much more relaxed and full form song. The Wedding Present seem to build upon the slight ‘Little Silver’ to create a more impressive pop rock style ballad.
Just think of every single indie rock cliché you can and then tie them altogether…What would it look like? It would look and smell a lot like ‘Secretary’. This is the song that the listener is supposed to say ‘hahahha… Yes, hahaha, yes. That’s quite funny… Yes, I’ve seen what you’ve done there with the lyrics, hhahaha… Yeah, haha’ while listening to. But guess what? It evokes no such dialogue. Instead it’s actually quite cringey and ultimately, although there is more to say (much about the lyrics), I don’t feel like I need to elaborate on all of its annoying characteristics much more. ‘Birdsnest’ is mediocre but enjoyable. It should be noted of the fantastic vocal performance by the backing female vocalist especially, but ultimately the entire band showcase their talent, and more importantly they sound like they’re having fun doing so. ‘Kill Devil Hills’ features some great instrumentation but this steady craft of song writing is counterpointed by the tongue in cheek vocals and occasionally enjoyable lyrics. The band re-captures its sound on ‘Bells’, a fiery and much more heavy alternative rock tune where the percussion and the excellent mixing and production qualities present themselves clearly. The vocals are also back on a track that fits with the music. On ‘Fifty-Six’ this heaviness continues and is utilised to showcase the crunch of guitars and the sound textures the band feel much more comfortable playing. The outro especially fits well with the contextual elements of the song.
The slow and swaying sound of ‘Emporia’ allows the band to reach the quality of ballad that they have been dubiously searching for on the entire album. The vocals on the second half of the song are brilliant as is the wild and free post-rock like pace the music sets slowly for itself. The production shines through substantially to bring all instruments into the mix together and balancing them for a fantastic listening quality of music.
Interestingly enough, I entered into this album wondering what The Wedding Present would bring to the table. Would it be the classic post-punk influenced rock and pop that brought them many fans and acclaim during the 80’s? Would it be the indie rock sound that they carried through to impress audiences with? Or would it be something completely different? Well into the albums opening instrumentals, I was convinced it was the latter. But then… Then I knew that it was indie and indie and even more indie. What’s wrong with Indie music? Absolutely nothing… So what are you on about? Well, to be completely honest; I don’t know if The Wedding Present are still ‘into it’. They seem to be interested in this jangling, indie, alt-rock sound but they recycle bands that they probably historically influenced to create something that tastes generic, clean, not really that adventurous and at times very awkward. The album is by no means bad but I tend to wonder what the aim of the album was. And before you ask; no there doesn’t need to be an aim for any music. It just seems that the band ventured into a studio and recorded this and that, here and there and then threw it together without any sort of rewarding focus. Think what you may of this but I believe the instrumentals to be some of, perhaps the, best tracks on the album. But still, with this in mind, the fact that the album opens with post-rock, ambient, soaring cinematic tracks makes the album unbalanced and confusing. Perhaps the band believed these to be an album intro of sorts but they sit so well at the start that it sort of just sounds like a band recording a film score then deciding to write an indie album. Actually, it is almost like two different bands played on the album; which also adds to the fact that the album is almost overloaded with songs. The lyrics at times sound and read as if the band stuck to subjects explored within their back catalogue but tried to ‘modernise’ them. This doesn’t do them many favours and I wondered whether The Wedding Present were trying to be funny? Or is it telling a story? I don’t know… On such a topic; why doesn’t the backing vocalist sing more leads? On a couple of the tracks the current leads sound tired and insincerely awkward; overly Indie themed and at a contrast to the music.
This may read as if Going, Going… is a second rate album; but I must ensure you that it is not. The production is brilliant and actually is one of the best I’ve heard in a while; meaning the bands choice of studios and mixers came through for them greatly. The mixing is stellar across the album, as are the instrumental performances by every band member. And, just to remind you, there are some fantastic and catchy songs on this album… Which I recommend you listen to. The influence of The Wedding Present on indie music, and in fact UK music is great, and Going, Going... showcases elements of the bands song writing skills and fantastic talent. This is achieved through the immaculate production, neat mixing and sound.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ARTIST: Dræm Girl
RELEASE: You Can't Go Back
RELEASE DATE: 2nd November 2016
Florida based noisy grunge/gaze trio ‘Dræm Girl’ have unleashed a blistering three track EP entitled ‘You Cant Go Back’ via their bandcamp page. The EP was released on November 2nd 2016 and it follows on from their previous explosive release entitled ‘Remember’ back in June of this year. The band are made up of Vincent Medina - vocals/guitars, Jared Hanlon - bass & Nicolas Remy - drums and what they collectively create musically is a tremulous whirlwind of noisy, grungy fuzz that’s permeated with swathes of melodious reverberation and brilliantly cohesive vocal lines. ‘You Can’t Go Back’ is available to buy/download right now from: dræmgirl.bandcamp.com
You Can't Go Back by Dræm Girl
The EP opens up with ‘Blackbird’, a growling ball of resonating guitars, steadying drums patterns and brilliantly addictive bass lines. The vocals are immense as they cut through the squally instrumental attack with ease. Up next, ‘Shallow’ enters the sonic arena on an angry guitar line and another surreal vocal performance. It’s bass lines skip lazily in and out of that skittish drum pattern as we menacingly meander through walls of fuzzy reverberation and grunge tinged brilliance.
The EP’s closing piece is swirling maelstrom of high-hat heavy percussion and raging guitar squall. The melancholic vocals sit precariously atop a pulsing wall of reverberating instrumentation as ‘Mouth Breather’ weaves in and out of old-school grunge and screaming alternative rock with aplomb. 'You Can't Go back' is highly recommended and brilliantly addictive.
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish 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 hepled 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: Tears Run Rings
RELEASE: In Surges
RELEASE DATE: December 2nd 2016
RECORD COMPANY: Deep Space Recordings
Not officially released until the 2nd December, dreamy shoegaze four piece ‘Tears Run Rings’ have used the magic of the internet to conceive their hauntingly good third album entitled ‘In Surges’. Taking a grand total of six years to complete, the band recorded in three separate studios transferring tracks backwards and forwards between three different cities - San Francisco, Portland and Los Angeles until each finished track was perfect. The band are made up of Laura - bass/vocals, Matthew - guitars/vocals, Ed -guitar and Dwayne - drums. Laura, Ed & Dwayne are original members of the now defunct 90’s twee/pop outfit ‘The Autocollants’ and Matthew & Ed also founded the brilliant 'Shelflife Records'. ‘In Surges’ is the bands third album and gets its full release via Deep Space Recordings. The album is available to pre-order on lovely coloured vinyl right now from: deepspacerecordings.storenvy.com
'In Surges' opens up swirling gracefully within a reverberating instrumental drone. ‘Happiness 6’ pulses a beautifully translucent sonic wave out into the ether as swathes of reverb are met with soaring synth swells and sparse percussion to perfectly envelope that impressive vocal. Up next, ‘Belly Up’ charges into earshot on a repetitious percussive attack coupled with noisy reverberating guitars and throbbing bass frequencies. Haunting vocal lines sway and bounce as they deftly circumnavigate the instrumentation, dashing in and out of subtle quieter/dreamier moments and on into awe inspiring soaring shoegaze, all the while drenched in beautifully ethereal reverb.
‘Things Have Changed’ shimmers as the twang of guitars meet underlying synth swells and ethereal vocalisations. The addition of the hazy acoustic guitar tones add atmosphere before the thud of bass frequencies take hold and carefully guide you out into the ether aided by wave after wave of underlying shimmering guitar effects. I can’t help but be totally blown away by both the lead vocal lines and the ethereally haunting backing vocals on this track. Absolutely stunning in its entirety, ‘Things have Changed’ is possibly my favourite track on the entire release. ‘Part of Glass’ blissfully ambles into audible range on a repetitive drum pattern, swirling instrumentation and another impressive vocal whilst ‘Green Lakes’ echoes and sway’s on a wave of reverb laden noise until we’re introduced to a beautifully ethereal vocal performance. ‘Green Lakes’ explodes into a cacophony of glorious colour as its chorus progressions take hold and we glide effortlessly within a haze of sonic grandeur into the ether.
‘Broken’ brings us back down to earth as it explodes into a reverberating beast. The vocals bring some clarity as they cut through overdriven guitar frequencies and I can hear subtle old-school flourishes reminiscent of ‘Slowdive’ here. Up next, ‘Destroyer’ breathes a modern sounding edge to proceedings as the track builds in momentum through its blissful verse parts and on into a beautifully arranged chorus progression. The chug, chug, chug of rhythm guitar coupled with those snaking lead lines, lazy percussion and soaring instrumental swells enter the fray and act as the perfect accompaniment to those ethereal vocal lines. The beginnings of ‘Something You Cant Hide’ have a welcoming post-punk edge before the track unfurls its sonic tendrils and radiates a stunning wall of layered guitars and driving bass frequencies underscored with a bedrock of explosive percussion. The albums penultimate track doesn't disappoint either as it unleashes a repetitious guitar progression and shimmering tambourine shakes. ‘Sine Wave Sleep’ is steeped in reverb, and totally reminiscent (instrumentally) of early Spacemen 3 mixed with the stunning melodic expertise of ‘The House Of Love’. As soon as the vocals takes hold, accompanied by those plodding bass frequencies and soaring lead guitar swells, you are completely hooked. ‘Sine Wave Sleep’ is a stunning track from start to finish.
The albums closing salvo entitled ‘Happiness 7’ majestically swerves through tremulous droning guitars and stunning atmospherics as it throws up blissfully noisy frequencies and hazy instrumentation. Out of the blurred sonic maelstrom comes a brilliantly executed vocal coupled with its underlying ethereal backing lines.
'In Surges' is a stunning return to form and well worth the six year wait!
Del Chaney has spent the last four years not only fronting popular experimental Irish 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 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 hepled 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: Coconut Cluster
RELEASE: Brighter Day
RELEASE DATE: 25th September 2016
Generally when I get a post-rock submission into the blog these days the first thing that I tend to look for are surrealistic or atmospheric soundscapes with expansive swathes of reverb and repetitive patterns of minimalistic instrumentation. At least thats what I have been brought up associating the post-rock genre to be. Music that you can transfer into a movie soundtrack with the flick of a switch and in doing so you end up being brought on an immense sonic journey. Paris based post-rock/indie duo of Matthieu Connon & Gaël Maffre aka ‘Coconut Cluster’ released their debut five track EP entitled ‘Brighter Day’ to the masses on the 25th September 2016, and if you can get over the band name, have actually released something rather special. A melding of post-rock, shoegaze and electronica with indie and alt-rock tendencies that still have those spine trembling atmospheric moments but with a distinctly modern edge. ‘Brighter Day’ is available to buy/download right now from: coconutcluster.bandcamp.com
Brighter Day by Coconut Cluster
‘When We Burn’ pulsates on a wave of synth and swirling guitars as sequenced percussion builds feverishly behind walls of impressive production. The vocals arrive in a haze of atmosphere that builds menacingly through the verse parts and explodes brilliantly into the chorus progressions. The use of undulating synth swells and repetitive guitars lines add depth to proceedings and I cant help but hear sounds reminiscent of our good friends ‘In Violet’ peppered throughout. It’s a wonderful opening salvo. Up next, ‘The Terrifying’ rattles and shakes on a slow percussive pattern as sampled vocalisations and intensely delicious instrumentation creeps and weaves a magical kind of sonic spell. The vocal lines intertwine themselves in amongst the swirling cacophony of atmospheric noise as the track builds & drags itself into the musical ether on a wave of harmonious sounds and massive synth swells.
Track three, ‘The Mysterious’ explodes into the arena circulating effortlessly within a maelstrom of synth, drums and growling guitars. The cascading lead guitar lines dance and spin a web of blissful, golden hued instrumentation as the track unfurls its tremulous tendrils before ‘Downstream’ pierces the musical ether, held fast within an distinctly atmospheric sonic bubble. ‘Coconut Cluster’ show us their definitively intelligent post-rock side with this beautiful track. It’s fragile melancholic vocals ride a wave of reverberation as droning instrumentation builds and shimmers into earshot. Sparse rumbling percussion pulses from far below before the introduction of dark repressive synth swells and swathes of noise inter the fray with one aim in mind; to deliciously lash the senses with glorious sonic aplomb. The EP’s closing track breathes and undulates brilliantly as its held deep within an air of 70’s sci-fi chic. Acoustic frequencies swirl as the track builds in momentum, consciously looping and arcing as it changes gear and pushes a wave of blissful synth filled repetitious noise out into the ether. ‘The Strange’ injects overdriven guitar squall into the mix, shattering the surreal calmness of before and instilling an unnerving dark & haunting edge into its final moments. An absolutely stunning finale to brilliantly executed debut EP.
Bless Your Heart by In Light Of
Writing and recording music over the internet is a modern phenomena that has helped the development of todays worldwide underground music scene and in turn has brought some very important musicians together to create some stunning musical soundscapes. I for one am a firm advocate of this method of music production and I personally feel that its aiding in the resurgence of many of the smaller untapped music genres swirling around within the underground scene. Ambient/post-rock/electronic duo 'In Light Of' have self-released their debut single entitled 'Bless Your Heart', lifted off their forthcoming debut EP entitled 'Little Treasures', whilst living in different cities altogether. In their own words - "Jason hired Sandy to join his music licensing company. Starting as colleagues they quickly bonded over a shared appetite for the kind of boundless sonic exploration found in post-rock (and the like) songwriting. But it wasn’t until Sandy moved five hours away that a musical project was first discussed".
What they have collectively created though, is a magnificently atmospheric slice of post-rock that is delectably infused with stunning reverberation & underscored with beautifully ambient textures that effortlessly build and surge into a raging cacophony of beautiful noise. God bless the power of the internet!