Articles by Elizabeth Klisiewicz
It morphs into swirling dream pop with warm rushes of organ and pretty harmonies. It’s got a very late 60s, early 70s feel to it, one that is welcome when all the radio ever plays is bombastic hard rock of the worst sort.
They make it all seem effortless, but these lovely confections were carefully crafted and lovingly produced. It all comes down to a love of music, and this emanates from the grooves of this record.
It’s a bouncy album of bright, retro sounding synth pop and new wave. It reflects Frankie’s interest in old sci-fi movies and soundtracks that use silly synths.
This music is dense and it is delicate, icy musical layers are frosty yet gorgeous as they work their magic on you. Even as the darkness swirls around you, glimmers of light dance just out of reach.
The single ‘Lucid I Would Dream’ is a soft, contemplative piece that inhabits the same space that Suzanne Vega once did back in the 80s. Miranda Lee has such a lyrical, expressive voice that shades these tunes like a gentle rain.
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.