The expansive, cinematic sounds of Glass Vaults return with the release of their ‘Bright’ EP (available now). Based in Wellington, New Zealand and led by Richard Larsen and Rowan Pierce, the group have continued to deliver quality recordings since their 2010 ‘Glass‘ EP debut. It’s difficult to pigeon hole these guys as the music crosses borders between dub, electronic, dream pop and post rock. Glass Vaults have a talent for the progressive slow burner that digs into your head, expands, and then leaves you in a profoundly different headspace. The title track (free download) opens with a lush swelling synth before the otherworldly vocals steal the show. As soon as you feel comfortable, a jungle-esque beat hits that flies in the face of predictability.
Glass Vaults – ‘Bright’
Visit Glass Vaults @ www.glassvaults.com @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.
This month Popfrenzy delivered the debut album ‘Tussle‘ from Sydney’s Day Ravies. The four piece have a 90s indie vibe whether they’re belting out twee rockers or jangly pop tunes. However you label it Day Ravies have a simplicity and charm that’s hard not to fall for. Take a listen to the album opener ‘Leaky Tin’ and download the rest here.
Day Ravies – ‘Leaky Tin’
Visit Day Ravies @ Popfrenzy Records @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.
On hearing Dividend‘s ‘Three Ways’ my inner audio geek immediately wanted to reach for the equalizer in an attempt to control the booming midrange. Then I felt guilty, the big muddiness and clouded sound works fine for these songs. ‘Ode’ is a little crunchier but overall Dividend’s debut six track collection ‘The Mind’s Eye‘ is decidedly lo-fi, raw and full of the rough edges that are too often smoothed over. Download the Arkansas duo’s EP from Bandcamp and catch them live at Sound Warehouse on November 7. They’re playing with a band called Gandhi’s Ballsack. Mmm-hmm!
Dividend – ‘Three Ways’
Reverb wins out on The Stargazer Lilies debut record ‘We Are The Dreamers’ (available now via Graveface Records). The New York veterans have crafted a densely textured sound built from spaced out melodies that melt into each other. Stand out ‘Endless Days’ is one example (video below). While album cut ‘Del Rey Mar’ plays out like a shoegazing lullaby, full of swirling feedback that doesn’t distract from the delicacy of Kim’s vocals. At times her delivery ventures from dreamy to blankly haunting (‘How We Lost’). I suppose it’s no surprise that ‘We Are The Dreamers’ turned out to be a really good listen. After all the group formed from the ashes of Soundpool with musical all-rounder John Cep, bassist/singer Kim Field with the addition of Tobacco (Black Moth Super Rainbow) and drummers EJ DeCoske and Johnny Lancia (for the live shows). Local fans can catch The Stargazer Lilies at Shea Stadium on November 15.
The Stargazer Lilies – ‘Del Rey Mar’
Visit The Stargazer Lilies @ Graveface Records @ Facebook.
Scott (from Surfing On Steam) has kindly posted some rare Closedown demos that have been converted from tape. He writes. “I can say this without hesitation, but Closedown were the first American shoegaze band ever. Four dudes from east Los Angeles who were not only incredible musicians but on par with many bands coming out of the UK.” Since hearing these recordings I’ve been educating myself on their 1994 record ‘Nearfield‘ (Silent Records) which these tracks eventually landed on. The ambient-based label has long since faded away and there’s precious little web fodder on Closedown or bandleader Jerry Battle. So thanks to Scott for sharing and keeping these sounds alive.
Closedown – ‘Bumblebee’ (Original Demo)
Stunning new music from Be Forest! ‘Captured Heart‘ is the first single from the group’s second album ‘Earthbeat’ (due February 4 via We Were Never Being Boring). The trio delivered their much loved debut record ‘Cold’ back in 2011 which combined shoegaze, coldwave and dream pop influences. Since then the Italians have added another member (electronic wiz Lorenzo Badioli). The result being a more lush and diverse sound, rather than a more synthetic one. As the press release asks, ”Be Forest’s melodies have always had a dreamy lightness as their striking feature, but now it is possible to feel a new warmth?” Apparently so – thumbs up!
Be Forest – ‘Captured Heart’
Very impressive tune out of Portland courtesy of Appendixes, pick up ‘Neon Green Fear’ on limited run vinyl here. The female-fronted band features talent from Chromatics, Vice Device, The Silent Numbers, Flexions and Shoplifting. The dream pop trio are currently playing dates in support of the release, head over to Facebook for local dates.
Appendixes - ’Neon Green Fear’
Brooklyn rock act Total Slacker have announced their new long player ‘Slip Away’ will be out February 11 through Black Bell Records! The first single ‘Sometimes U Gotta Die’ has huge guitars set against a rhythm that drags you across the floor (metaphorically speaking)! Total Slacker nail the classic ‘quiet, loud, quiet, loud’ formula. Its a brilliant precusor to the album and will fit nicely into their much loved live shows.
Total Slacker – ‘Sometimes You Gotta Die’
Visit Total Slacker @ Black Bell Records @ Facebook.
Following the beautiful lead track ‘I’m To Blame‘, Los Angeles duo Boardwalk (Amber Quintero and Mike Edge) have delivered their debut album via Stones Throw. Drawing comparisons to dream pop contemporaries Beach House and Mazzy Star, the pair has been harshly judged for similarities. That aside, Boardwalk’s record deserves to be judged on its own merits. Amber’s voice is perfectly suited to their slow motion, psych pop sound, which is full of strong melodies and sedate pop numbers. Album cut ‘It’s Over’ is just one example. The LP could use a few tempo changes and perhaps have taken a few risks but overall its a welcome debut that’s well worth a listen (for fans of Widowspeak, Tamaryn and Memoryhouse).
Boardwalk – ‘It’s Over’
Visit Boardwalk @ Stones Throw @ Soundcloud @ Facebook.
The inbox is overflowing with new videos – here’s a select bunch to chomp on! There’s some surprises in there, some great new tracks and also a few that fall below expectation – I’ll let you decide which…
Flyying Colours – ‘Like You Said’
Flyying Colours – ‘Like You Said’
Melbourne’s Flyying Colours have a new psych/shoegaze creation called ‘Like You Said’, fresh footage below…
I Break Horses – ‘Faith’
Stockholm’s I Break Horses (Maria Lindén) returns with a new single ‘Faith’ from the forthcoming second album due in 2014. Things have changed up since the 2011 gazey debut with a more electronic, beat-centric sound this time round…
Neil Halstead And Rachel Goswell – ‘Alison’ (Slowdive)
Last week former Slowdiver Neil Halstead put a smile on fans faces when he performed the classic ‘Alison’ in London with Rachel Goswell…
Dark Bells – ‘Want’
Aussie power trio Dark Bells give us their latest vid ‘Want’ – single out now via Rip Records…
Joanna Gruesome – ‘Sugarcrush’
Slumberland Records have delivered Joanna Gruesome’s impressive debut LP ‘Weird Sister’. The noise poppers have produced an equally fun video complete with singing hamburgers…
The Fauns – ‘Seven Hours’
On December 2 Invada Records will release The Fauns new album ‘Lights’ featuring the lead single ‘Seven Hours’…
The Death Of Pop – ‘Tasteless’
Brit shoegazers The Death Of Pop return with a new tune, note the video has nudity (NSFW)…
Eros And The Eschaton – ‘Over And Over’ (Live)
Greensboro indie outfit Eros And The Eschaton perform a cut from their new record ‘Home Address For Civil War’ (in a backstreet alley) for Love Drunk…
Black Hearted Brother – ‘This Is How It Feels’
Earlier this month The Quietus premiered Black Hearted Brother’s latest “spacegaze” video (album out now)…