Magnificently expressive artistic indie rock from the mind of Californian NOAH KWID.
Childhood is a little tape with big dreams and beautiful ideas housed in a quaint collection of 4 songs. Soaked in a soft and intimate essence – as if sitting in your friends garage with the door open during a light rainstorm, listening to a band practice in the corner as you roll your spliff.
The songs are tasteful construction of sparse yet clever vocals, hearty guitar and intriguing horns. The use of woodwinds and flutes is a welcome addition to the sonic palette, adding a unique depth to the tracks. The unique artistic expressiveness would make David Byrne proud – ultimately boiling down to a very wholesome and honest experience.
The tape is only 4 tracks long, however that becomes deceptive once you press play. Each track lives in it’s own world – bedroom microcosms of emotions and human energy, expressed in pure electro-acoustic waves. For all the pretentious flourishes I am using in this article it’s quite a down-to-earth listen.
Shoegaze as a genre is experiencing a small renaissance in the underground rock community. Hum returned after an extended hiatus by diving head first into bludgeoning post-metal soundscapes; harsher black metal acts like Deafheaven have gradually softened their edges to reveal the smooth, dream pop center hidden underneath; and fellow Relapse Records brethren Nothing continue to hone a thoroughly contemporary brand of shoegazy alternative rock. As excellent as all these bands and records are, Cloakroom’s newest long player Dissolution Wave may be the strongest of them all.
While my roommate was adamant that Cloakroom merely sounds like ‘a hundred alternative rock bands I used to listen to in the 90’s’, I’m not sure I can write them off so quickly. Yes, the reverb, the choruses, and the overall vibe of Dissolution Wave may carry a sheen of nostalgia for the slowcore of the mid 90’s, but the songwriting and atmosphere elevate the music to the upper echelon. The washed out, almost ambient nature of much of the music makes Dissolution Wave go down smooth regardless of whether you’re listening to it actively or as background music. A truly stellar effort from a scene that hopefully has much more to reveal down the pike.
Thomas Jacob Jr is a Producer, Composer, Singer-Songwriter, Music Educator and Digital Artist currently based in Arizona – Bringing us rare and interesting selections from his extensive Vinyl collection! For more content follow his vinyl-dedicated Instagram account
Hyperdrive is a new full-length record from Los Angeles Singer/Songwriter Spooky Tavi, brought to us by Doom TripRecords!
It’s a fun and humble psychedelic trip spanning 10 magnificent tracks. Built on a foundation of pure bedroom pop – Spooky Tavi then takes the structures and concepts to swirl them around in a hazy magical storm.
Hyperdrive itself is a microcosm of a massive journey – akin to taking a long spiritual road trip in the comfort of your bedroom. Melodies and progressions are swollen with blurry nostalgia. Guitars twang and drums pitter-patter from the corner of the room. Vocals float in amplified by a rotating, unknown presence.
The energy within the tracks ebbs and flows. Even on songs with slightly more urgency and up-ticked tempo, the project maintains it’s ethereal sense of wonder. Atmospherics work together with rhythms, lending an almost *psychedelic jam band* quality to some of the instrumentals.
Personal highlights include Smi²le – an energetic and funky track with a tasty disco beat, along with Behind The Waterfall – a New Age Folk track with a mystical healing energy and beautiful basslines.
On a whole, Hyperdrive sounds like a dream collaboration between a slightly LSD-influenced Bibio gets in the studio with Children of Alice and Brian Eno. I challenge you to listen to this one and not get at least ONE song stuck in your head – the earworms on this record are no joke…
Mash and dash! Throw on those joggers and storm out the door! Don’t have a destination? No problem! We rockin and rollin!
Prince of Hearts is a new 5-track tape from Toronto outfit Dirty Princes. Lots of pure energy packed in this one, makes you want to jump up and party in your room! It almost feels like a live album, the combination of raw sounds and powerful vocals put me right in the VFW hall front and center for the sweaty performance!
Ended up really digging this one after repeat listens, nuances really rubbing me the right way, reminding me of early 2000’s punk rock discoveries, Hopeless Records and the like. Give In and Go is such a jam, definitely my favorite track, followed closely by Love is Cynical. The 5 tracks zoom past pretty quickly, but that means it’s time to take it from the top!
Colorado label Community Radio Tapes presents us with this beautiful little oddity by Heart Eyes, Whatever it is, Whenever you feel like it is a 6 track tape of glazed bedroom ambience with plenty of emotion.
The tape is quite pleasant with some interesting ideas, though there is a lot of weirdness going on it always remains a comfortable weirdness. The kind that you know won’t harm you. However there is an anxiety to some of the tracks, a looming melancholy that sits really heavy! Do not panic however, it’s a very nice listen and ends on a high note.
You can download the album via bandcamp or purchase a cassette copy from the same page!
Blissful new offerings from Japanese label White Paddy Mountain, Waiting for Mint Shower!! is a beautiful 8-track project from Tokyo-based band Shelling. Mellow, emotional, and highly recommended.
shelling is a shoegaze/dreampop band formed in Tokyo. aya(vocal,guitar,compose) and shota(guitar)
“shelling” means to gather shells on the beach.
in February 2010 they released a split CD with IROTTO+
called “before time melts.” on High Fader records.
in February 2013 they released 1st full album on white paddy mountain.
As I am sure many of you know by now, I am a big fan of Ghost Diamonds “Diamond Series”, a collection of mini-releases, each consisting of two tracks by different artists. This formula is quick, refreshing, and they always manage to bring some interesting sounds to the table. This round is no different! Diamond Series 006 is soaked in retro nostalgia, with the second track diving head first into a 50’s Righteous Brothers cover. This was a pleasure to listen to quite a few times, I encourage you to give it a run and check out the rest of the Diamond Series while you’re at it!