Recoil by Semihelix

Release date: October 1, 2021
Label: Mariel Records

Semihelix is a delectable Austin dream pop outfit, and Recoil is a sonic confection that will please even the most jaded of listeners. Frankly, I need sunny music right now. I cannot really put my general malaise into words other than to say I desperately am grabbing hold of anything positive I can find. And Semihelix sure fills the bill.

The band is a trio consisting of vocalist/guitarist Geannie Friedman, Kevin Martin on bass, and Valdemar Barrera on drums. The album was recorded before the pandemic hit in February 2020, so the songs do not reflect this global event that is still a problem as I type this. Geannie has a fine set of pipes, and the band’s music quite honestly reminds me of the terrific and long defunct Veronica Falls. I mean this as the highest compliment, from the guitar framework to the pristine vocals and the sometimes ghostly musical backdrop. They have a fine command of melody and harmony and what works to achieve sonic bliss.

Opening track ‘Only to Go On’ is evocative and memorable. It has a haunting quality and I am drawn back to it frequently. ‘Mourning Light’ brings another excellent Austin band to mind (Moving Panoramas), with a sweet vocal line and a fine melody. The title track is wonderful, and boy, do I hear the aforementioned Veronica Falls in the mix. I am probably off base, but I am betting this group has listened to those folks a time or two, or at least have some of the same influences.

Despite feeling upbeat, the lyrics in ‘Translucent’ and ‘Only Bluff’ are a bit downcast. Moving on to ‘Come Around’, it has a whiff of Luna in how Geannie carefully enunciates the vocals. ‘Will It Take’ picks up the tempo, offering up some nicely rendered pop punk (think Breeders). In summary, this was a fun, breezy listen and I recommend it to fans of the aforementioned bands and any indie fan who appreciates good music.

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