Articles by Elizabeth Klisiewicz
The KVB spin a variant of dreamy synth pop meshed with post punk that I find very appealing. Perhaps it’s the mysterious way they have about them, or the way their tunes hang out in a fog-shrouded part of my brain, one especially designed to receive and delight in this music.
The group invested ample time on this release, expanding their range both musically and lyrically. It’s a true collaboration between Payseur and bandmates Jack Doyle Smith and Tommy Davidson. The new songs reveal a more fluid, eclectic sound, filled with lush compositions formed by studio experiments. The album contains more complex instrumentation, including string arrangements, piano, harpsichord, flute, and saxophone.
While Clustersun is known primarily as shoegazers, their sound has evolved to include elements of post punk, noise pop, and mind-bending psych. The sound is more up front aggressive and hard charging, and it suits them well.
These new songs differ from previous howling acid rock and instead focus on dreamier elements.
The music reflects the hidden energies of rain clouds and sunshine and the deep creep of Northwest forests along with their effect on the psyche, inspired by the occult and esoteric literature of Mary Anne Atwood, Aleister Crowley, Colin Wilson, and Manly P. Hall.
Call it post punk with a psych edge, and the biting snarl of punk is never far from the surface.
These gals create an interesting and somewhat challenging melange of styles. The synth heavy space rock of “Bad Thing” is like new wave in outer space, with rumbling bass and what sounds like most of the gals singing in unison on the chorus. Guitars are fuzzed out, and the synth parts swirl like foo fighters.
Existing fans will lap this up as it’s strikingly different than their older tunes. New fans may also be drawn to the contrast of light and dark used effectively on Creep.
It’s the same feeling I get with all these songs, it’s like they’ve beamed in from somewhere else, a place bursting with colour and impossible beauty.
Rather than a set of finely polished pieces, they tore out the creamy filling and left the listener with a series of sharp, metallic tone poems.
Crazy Rhythms was the band at light speed, and In Between finds them at a comfortable cruising velocity. So what if it’s a variation on a theme? It’s a damned good formula, and it works for them. They’ve gotten so much mileage out of the same basic riffs that most bands would kill for these songs.
Much like their music, the band prefers to remain in the shade with sunglasses, identities obscured by dark swirls of droning psych and space rock.
Like a slow rolling wave, the listener experiences glimmers of light darting through the mix and it all comes off like something Hammock would be proud to call their own.
Demure dabbles in the sort of icy, elegant post punk offered up in the 80s from bands such as The Cure. There are drum machines and synths, as expected, but then we have Demure’s notable guitar playing and strong sense of melody, which elevates his work to something rather special.
‘Electric’ is electronica with a dark wave sheen, while ‘Zombie Birds’, a single released earlier this year, is a fine offering of post rock. It shows that this band isn’t a one trick pony, and they could easily go in a bunch of different directions stylistically and succeed.
This entire suite of songs is engaging, cerebral, and only your imagination will limit you from fully engaging with this music. It is cinematic post rock at its best.
This is a fine release from the Fresh and Onlys frontman that fans of that band as well as fans of West Coast folk and psych will appreciate.
UK band Toy have just released their splendid new recording Clear Shot, an amalgamation of influences ranging from Radiophonic Workshop to the Incredible String Band.
This London quintet has produced a winner with Entopica Phenomica.
A fine album from a promising group that I hope to hear more from.
For fans of Slint, and for anyone who enjoys well written and played instrumental music. By Elizabeth Klisiewicz