Japanese shoegaze band Belinda May pop up from time to time on these pages, and I’m always glad to share their sound. I mean, its hard not to get excited by the jangling guitar licks that wrap up the melody in this nice delicious package to deliver into your ears. The whole Covid situation impacted their trajectory, as they were riding high on the release of “Beautiful Days,” but now with new singer Harada in tow, the band seem even better. The snappy drums catch the beat and ride those sunny moments to a hook-laden result that’s going to be rewarding the minute you turn it up. This new track appears on a 7″ for Fastcut Records.
I sit here hopefully thinking that this new Swedish band of rockers are giving Austin’s Levitation a nice little nod with their band name, American Levitation Co. But, my digression aside, the group are pulling on their JaMC shirts and dropping a stomping bit of fuzzed out rock n’ roll. One listen through and you’ll be greeted by that thumping beat and squall of guitars, all of it tied together by this gooey melodic vocal work that drives home the pop sentiment. I love its familiarity, and am interested in hearing if they can move into making the sound fully their own as they go forward.
Already hung out in Olympia earlier this week, so why not set ourselves up with another great Olympian band, Waves Crashing. Today, the band drop their fresh The Viewing EP, which is an essential collection for those into the modern shoegaze sounds. They play with dissonant noise swirling in the background, then tie it to the melody that runs through each track’s central; it reminds me a lot of Austin’s Blushing, albeit with a male vocal. Standout tune “Life on Display” has this thumping rhythm, almost bouncing through your speakers. I love how the group also seem tied to the Pacific Northwest sounds of the late 90s, particularly when you hear a song like “Voices” that carry a bit of charming softness. Give it a listen, and if you buy it through bandcamp, you get gifted a bonus track!
After blowing up with a couple of rad EPs, Bordeaux’s Cosmopaark are about to take it one step further by releasing their debut LP, And I Can’t Breathe Enough. Their latest single to tease you drops in almost immediately, delivering a punishing wall of screaming noise; I love that it still feels fairly lo-fi, and not overly produced to turn it into some sort of heavy-goth-wash. When the noise is halted, there’s a delectable melodic treat hanging in the verses, but they’re brief, so the explosive nature of the song erupts in your eardrums almost immediately after you take a long five count. This new album will hit on January 20th via Flippin’ Freaks and Howlin Banana Records.
My apologies for my lack of musical postings over the last few days/weeks though my pal Lankford has held down the fort as he usually does. I’m back today with this shoegazy as hell tune called “Closer II” from Chicago based indie legends Gentle Heat. For those familiar with the band, you may notice a slight change in the vocals with the addition of keyboardist and accompanying singer Sarah Clausen. I am loving how her vocals provide this sort of eerily harmonizing effect that sort of fades and melds into the fronting vocals of David Algrim. Be warned, the track may start a tad slow, but it certainly picks up.
Gentle Heat will release new album Sheer, featuring this new tune, on May 13th.
You ever wake up and you just know the day’s going to be a certain way? Well, I woke up today thinking we’d spend a lot of time in that sort of wistful Spring mode, looking towards a break from the mundane…so it’s great that there’s a new track from Finland’s The Here Todays. My favorite side of the group comes to the surface here, as one fuzzy guitar chugs away, like your little brother/sister jamming out in their room; you can hear it through the walls, but your drawn to something else. That something else, aside from the neon-lights of the vocals, it the other guitar exploding through the heavy walls like fireworks on a dark skyline. But, like fireworks, the song leaves you with that smoky haze, drifting, like your mind, across the night.
While Sweden’s Boy with Apple work on their debut album, they’re spending the Spring months dropping little breadcrumbs so we can follow along. I love everything about this latest track, drenched in these heavy notes and cascading guitar notes glittering across the song’s backdrop. Theres’s something about the vocals that shimmers and reverberates in your ears as the rhythm section thumps; it leaves you with this blanketing melodiousness that soothes you as the darkness echoes behind. Really love the way the band is working things out, and I’m super excited to hear where they end of with this debut; the new single is out today courtesy of Varo Records.
We’re going to have ourselves a little Shelflife party over here at ATH, which is completely okay, as it’s one of my favorite labels. Earlier we had that hot Salt Lake Alley tune, and now we bring you the latest from the dream-gaze outfit, Whimsical. The video, like the song, is definitely shrouded in a bit of denseness, with the guitars churning out this wall of noise that serves as the background; the video uses slow pacing and these similarly heavy color tones to match that vibe. Musically, Krissy Vanderwoude’s voice is able to pierce the shroud of darkness, delivering this pulsing bit of melody that shimmers on the surface, as this genre should. If you dig it, Melt will be out on April 1st.
In other news of things I’ve skipped the last few weeks, this new video from Letting Up Despite Great Faults; I did cover the original single though! So, here we are with the band jamming out in their practice space, each person getting a little solo time to walk about while the band jams around them. I love that you get a little bit of the live Kent vibe, as he’s one of my favorite bass players to watch. The band will be dropping their new album, IV, in early March, with a tour to follow out West with other ATH faves Blushing. You can pre-order the LP HERE.
Remember when we released Blushing‘s Weak EP? Yeah…seems like years ago…I think it was. But, the band have just been crushing it through their hard work and dedication to bringing out the best in the dreamy brand of shoegaze. This new single from their forthcoming Possessions continues to show the band letting melody and noise co-habitate inside their songs; you can’t listen to a moment without the wall of distortion washing over you, battling with Christina’s vocals for the listener’s attention. Honestly, every new song this lot writes seems to just raise the bar a bit higher than it was before. Possessions is out next February via Kanine Records, followed by a West Coast tour with other local greats Letting Up Despite Great Faults.