Tag: Dream-pop

ALBUM REVIEW: THE HIGH VIOLETS – HEROES AND HALOSALBUM REVIEW: THE HIGH VIOLETS – HEROES AND HALOS

By J Quigley

By J Quigley

Background
The band formed from the ashes of legendary Portland favourite, the Bella Low, who played regular gigs with other local psych bands like The Dandy Warhols.  After the Bella Low breakup former members Clint Sargent (lead guitar, vocals), Luke Strahota (drums/percussion) and Violet Bianca Grace picked up the pieces from the band’s crash and formed The High Violets in 1998.  Current lineup includes Kaitlyn ni Donovan (vocals, guitar) and Colin Sheridan (bass guitar) with Heroes and Halos being the band’s sixth release after a six year wait.

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ALBUM REVIEW: HOLY WAVE – FREAKS OF NURTUREALBUM REVIEW: HOLY WAVE – FREAKS OF NURTURE

Holy Wave

Background
Based in El Paso, Texas, Holy Wave (Kyle Hager, Dustin Zozaya, Julian Ruiz, Joey Cook, Ryan Fuson) is riding the wave (!) of the contemporary psych-rock revival.

Strengths
Adept at combining sympathetic elements of psych-rock, shoe-gaze and dream pop, the music on Freaks of Nurture will appeal to a wide range of rock lovers. Sounding timeless yet fresh, Freaks of Nurture is a work of passionate art that transcends mere genre.

Highlights
“She Put a Seed in my Ear”, “Wendy Go Round”, “Western Playland”, “California Took My Bobby Away” and so on!

Sounds Like
Temples, Tame Impala, Thee Oh Sees, Spacemen 3.

Bottom Line
Probably the most likely style of modern rock that will break into the mainstream consciousness. Hopefully sooner than later.

Information
Official Site: https://holywave.bandcamp.com/

Buy now!

ALBUM REVIEW: DEAFHEAVEN – NEW BERMUDAALBUM REVIEW: DEAFHEAVEN – NEW BERMUDA

Deafheaven

It seems like a disservice to Deafheaven to simply describe the band (George Clarke, Kerry McCoy Daniel Tracy, Stephen Clark & Shiv Mehra) as a Black Metal outfit.

Sure, the music carries all the hallmarks of the extreme metal genre viz. fast tempos, shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking but Deafheaven is much more. Halfway through the opening track (“Brought to the Water”) of their new album, New Bermuda, the song takes on an incongruous atmospheric dream pop tone that changes the emotional tone significantly before it ends with a solo piano playing the chord progression! Unexpected.

After the critical acclaim showered on sophomore effort, Sunbather, it’s comforting to note that Deafheaven have not compromised their high standards on New Bermuda. It would not be out of place to suggest that this is what progressive rock sounds like in 2015 – the exploration of new frontiers and exciting cross-pollinating hybrids indicate that talented and courageous music creators are out there on the fringes of modern rock making fresh & wildly innovative popular music.

This creativity continues for the rest of New Bermuda in songs that never go under eight minutes (the epic “Luna” and the invigorating “Baby Blue” cross the 10 minute mark!) but never overstay their welcome in any way. Not falling into the inherent obsolescence of staying within genre boundaries, Deafheaven fly free of all constraints and totally against type have created transcendent rock music that even the most optimistic of us believers thought was now impossible!

LIGHTCRAFT – COLOURS OF JOYLIGHTCRAFT – COLOURS OF JOY

Released at the very beginning 2014, Colours of Joy, the sophomore album from Indonesian indie band lightcraft is quite the thing of beauty. Whilst its live dynamic is waves of shoegazey dreamy noise pop, the sonic agenda on this album is more lilting, more subtle and ultimately more graceful.

And this marked contrast works brilliantly from a recording perspective where there is less pressure to deliver an immediate high. It’s quite impossible not to fall in love with the luscious sounds and melancholy sentiments evident on songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Get Out on Your Way” – singer Imam’s voice is almost a ghostly whisper hovering like an angel over swaths of heavenly constructs.

Things do get slightly more expansive in the epic soundscapes of “The Other Side of the Glass”, “Starlit Eyes” and “Hello Goodbye” which are both more representative of the band’s live sound albeit without sacrificing an iota of the emotional resonance that marks lightcraft’s work.

If I had to make comparisons, I would have to say that lightcraft reminds me of a more stripped down version of one of my favourite bands – Starflyer 59. Believe me, as high as the standards Jason Martin has set, lightcraft do a more than credible job in evoking the same nuances, references and power. Highly recommended.

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