Abram Shook – Landscape Dream

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

Oh you haven’t heard of Abram Shook? Seriously? Well, Abram Shook is a one of Austin’s truest gems as of late: a great songwriter and backing band who put out an album last year called Sun Marquee and already back with this stunning follow up record. On Landscape Dream, Shook and company take you both to 70’s rock and roll as well as soulful grooves of soft rock.

“Never Die” begins the album slowly and carefully, with some twee synth that harkens back to the grooves of yesteryear and Shook’s delicate whispery vocals beckon you to come with him on this journey before he is joined by the rock. This synth and vocals are soon joined by a burst of instrumentation: psychedelic guitar, stark percussive elements and even more synth. Then all of the sudden this burst of energy fades back out to just the vocals and synth sounds, now subtle and you’re left with Abram Shook and company stripped down to their core. This combination of soft and loud doesn’t overwhelm, but leaves you a little awestruck as to all that you’ve just heard—the song is fluid, moving you along with it. In one of the quieter moments, Shook tells you to “Listen, listen to the words” almost prompting you to keep your ears pricked for what’s to come.

This album is an oddly delightful mixture of misty ethereal sounds and outright rock and roll that is manifested through several different genres. There are proper links to psychedelic and garage rock on here, such as you’ll find on “Beach Glass” and “Find It” respectively. “Beach Glass” is a straight from the seventies track that involves a lot of gentle percussion, echo-y vocals and pulsing electronic sounds. “Find It” has the gritty guitars that ooze garage, while the vocals are still delicate, giving the juxtaposition of genre that you didn’t know you wanted. But then there are softer moments such as you’ll find on “Vessel,” which does eventually get a little rock and roll, but sticks in the realm of dreamy pop.

In all honesty, this album contains no bad track, and with each listen you sink your teeth further into the songs. Every time you pass through the 12 tracks on here, you find a new set of favorite tunes, and the ones that already were your favorites become ever more solidified as so. So pick this record up, spin it often, and get lost in the Landscape Dream.

 

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