Astrobrite – ‘Deluxer’

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Shoegaze veterans Astrobrite posted their new album ‘Deluxer‘ this week, steam it in full below! It’s way too early to pass judgement, but it’s sounding great on first listen. Founded by Chicago’s Scott Cortez in 1994, Astrobrite recently became a trio with the addition of drummer Sarah Sterling, and guitarist/singer Sophie Leigh Nagelberg (of dream/noise pop act Videotape). ‘Deluxer’ is officially out on May 11, coinciding with a Japanese tour stop next month (details).

 
Astrobrite – ‘Deluxer’

Visit Astrorbite @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

La Casa al Mare – ‘This Astro’ [EP]

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La Casa al Mare‘s debut EP ‘This Astro‘ has landed, and it’s every bit as magical as we expected. The newcomers appeared (seemingly out of nowhere) last September with the ‘M’ single, a beautifully polished shoegaze anthem that plays out like an unearthed classic. Of course, it helps when the band features former members of Sea Dweller, My Violent Ego and La Calle Mojada (which explains their veteran sound). The EP release features five songs (including the two singles), with a bonus track (‘This Astro’) on the CD. It’s a good opportunity for those who haven’t picked up the previous singles to jump on board, and provides three extra songs (for those that have).

La Casa al Mare – ‘At All’ [Exclusive Stream]

The trio (Marco Poloni on vocals/bass, Paolo Miceli on drums, with Alessio Pindinelli on guitar and vocals) don’t hide their influences, ‘This Astro’ overtly borrows from the 90s. The My Bloody Valentine influence is clear, however they do add enough of their own charm to make it their own. It could also be argued that La Casa al Mare have much stronger vocal chords than their forefathers *dodges rotten tomatoes*. I suppose that’s how the sound has evolved, ‘This Astro’ capitalizes on the gorgeous sonic swells but supports them with catchy melodies (that aren’t overdone). The EP doesn’t bury too many sounds in the mix, you can still make out what’s going on, and there’s not an over indulgence in lo-fi aesthetics either.

‘I Don’t Want To’ gets the EP off to a punchy start. It’s a short blast of swooning tremolos and melodic haze which runs into ‘Sunflowers’, a reminder that, all this distortion and naval gazing doesn’t have to be depressing! Its choruses are light and positive, one of the highlights. ‘At All’ (first public stream above), is a straight ahead indie rocker that bridges into the sedate ‘Tonight Or Never’, a dream pop lullaby that shows us what La Casa al Mare sound like without all the fuzz. ‘CD Girl’ is an unassuming song, it washes over you without the same hooks as the other singles but is still a strong entry. The CD bonus cut ‘This Astro’ is their most experimental work yet, a five minute instrumental. It’s filled with reverb heavy sounds jutting into the mix. It forms a dissonant cacophony mid way, and almost falls into a heap before wondering into the fade out.

La Casa al Mare – ‘This Astro’ [EP stream - select cuts]

It’s difficult to fault the EP, but like many of you, I’d really like to hear what they’ll do on a full length. That’s my only complaint! If you’re a fan of the genre, ‘This Astro’ is a must listen. It’s a pleasure from start to finish (first listen through), and it’s one of the most exciting EPs I’ve heard in years. And to think, this is only the beginning.

Visit La Casa al Mare @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

La Casa al Mare - 'This Astro' [EP]
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • A modern take on classic shoegaze
  • Big sound, big melodies!
  • An accomplished debut
CON'S
  • It's not a full length (only 3 new songs)
4.1Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)

This Love Is Deadly – ‘Want’

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Last week I posted ‘Vertigo‘ by This Love Is Deadly from their recently released second album ‘Want’. I hadn’t heard the album, just the single, and I didn’t know what to expect. Well now I have, (thanks to Bekassine Records) and wow, great album! It’s very rare these days to be unable to stream an album on release, but ‘Want’ remains elusive. Unless I’m mistaken, you won’t find it publicly streaming anywhere at present (which may change). So you’ll have to snap up the vinyl to really jump into it. But the Berlin-based shoegazers have allowed me to share a new song, the album opener ‘Certainly Not Pushed’.

The ten track collection ranges from icy cold dream pop to explosive shoegaze anthems, with bendy guitars and beautiful boy/girl vocals. ‘Certainly Not Pushed’ gives you a taste. It’s a highly creative record, there’s plenty of tangents to keep you locked in, like the unexpected drum machine break in ‘Certainly Not Pushed’, which ends in a manic flourish. The rest of ‘Want’ is just as strong, it’s intricately composed, and well suited to repeat listens.

The noise pop moments of their 2012 debut LP have been chiseled back. The melodic hooks are far less obvious but carry far more weight. It’s a mature step towards understating the obvious and focusing on the subtler elements. Of course, there’s still overt shoegaze/noise pop songs on ‘Want’, like the catchy ‘Saudade’. But as you’ll hear on ‘Vertigo’, the melodies aren’t shoved down your throat, instead there’s just a fantastic feel to it. ‘Want’ has caught me by surprise, it’s a quiet achiever that I hope you’ll hear in full. Loved it.

Visit This Love Is Deadly @ Bekassine Records @ Lovesick Records @ Facebook.

This Love Is Deadly - 'Want'
SONGWRITING
SOUND & PRODUCTION
REVERB RATING
PRO'S
  • Recommended for shoegaze/dream pop fans
  • An understated gem!
CON'S
  • Some may be put off by the lack of streaming
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (4 Votes)

Mumrunner – ‘End’

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Soliti Records are set to release Mumrunner‘s debut EP ‘Full Blossom’ on May 15 featuring the lead single ‘Bond’. The Finland-based rock act have just posted another impressive tune, ‘End’. The foursome successfully blend poppy vocal hooks with a post-hardcore/shoegaze aesthetic. Despite the dreamy vocals and half time chorus, they create a sense of urgency throughout. If ‘End’ lifts your skirt, chances are you’ll love the EP, (I’ve been lucky enough to give it a listen and there’s no filler). Side note, amazingly creepy artwork! It takes a moment to realise what you’re looking at.

 
Mumrunner – ‘End’

Visit Mumrunner @ Soliti Records @ Facebook.

Love In Athens – ‘Primary Debridement’

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Here’s a really interesting EP from the Philippines, it’s called ‘Anatomical Venus’ by Love In Athens. It’s the work of solo artist Francis Maria, who blurs the line between lo-fi rock, shoegaze and electronica. Where exactly that line is, I’m not sure, and I don’t think Francis is terribly concerned either, because this is no bulls**t music making. For fans of MBV, Squarepusher or Jesu - grab it here. ‘Primary Debridement’ has an off-kilter breakbeat that’s a little unsettling but great, I recommend test driving the rest.

 
Love In Athens – ‘Primary Debridement’

Visit Love In Athens @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

We Need Secrets Feat. Elliott Frazier – ‘No Kimono’

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We Need Secrets recently posted an epic extended edition of ‘Melancholy And The Archive‘ (check it out here). It’s the work of Canada’s Chad Peck (also of Kestrels and Noyes Records). As you’ll hear, Chad knows how to pen a tune! The (now) 22-track album features a bunch of additional demos and outtakes, including a collaboration with Ringo Deathstarr’s Elliott Frazier on ‘No Kimono’. Elliott also mixed the album, which is streaming in full below.

 
We Need Secrets Feat. Elliott Frazier – ‘No Kimono’

Visit We Need Secrets @ Bandcamp @ Webpage.