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
Flying in the Sky is an experimental post-vaporwave album by BROKEN KIDZ (aka VDMR) presented by the good folks over at Engram Recordings.
The album is a beautiful swirl of psychedelic downtempo beats lathered in vaporwave inspiration. Thick with reverberation – Flying in the Sky takes the listener on a hazy, blissed-out journey – complete with in flight cocktails and complimentary entertainment!
Spanning 12 tracks, the album is a nice long listen with lots of creativity to get lost in. BROKEN KIDZ does a great job of meditating on each tracks nuances, allowing room for lots of riffs and concepts to breath. Tracks like Cross Faded are a magnificent shoegaze expedition in a gigantic geode encrusted cavern. The sound is a lovely balance between popular vaporwave tropes and experimental electronic influences, with flavors of harsh noise and grunge peeking through the layers. The droning vocals add a distinct touch to the style, injecting sensations of post-rock and drugged up punkers.
All in all it’s a nice release, definitely worth a listen or three. For fans of the more experimental side of vaporwave. You can listen and download now via Engram Recordings bandcamp page!
Snow day ep by hyacinth is a relaxed downtempo trip-hop project with a touch of post-vaporwave lofi looping vibes.
Rooted in experimental bedroom beat-making energy, the 9 track ep swirls through samples, riffs and grooves with an effortless sense of style. The dusty boom-bap percussion layered with warped jazzy samples take me back to 2008, evoking feelings of Madlib and Boards of Canada.
This little beat tape packs a lot of heart and creative energy into its relatively short playtime – it won my heart over and I found myself playing it on repeat. Perfect for mellow mornings with a warm cup of coffee.
You can support the artist and pick up the release for ONLY 2 BUCKS via their self operated label peradam tapes.
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…
Lush, delicious and relaxing vaporsounds by バーチャルボーイＡ ｔ ｓ ｕ, presented to us by Dreamshore Tapes of Belgium. A beautiful long-player packed with satisfying ambience vapor vibes. Probably the most enjoyable and impressive aspect is the generous use of lead instruments like Bells, Vibes and Pan Flutes, lending the project a unique texture and nostalgic twang.
Download the album now at your chosen price – or choose between Purple or Neon cassette tapes, both of which are still in stock at the time of this post!
After much anticipation it has finally arrived! The latest full-length project from Brazilian composer and producer Phantoms vs Fire titled “My Mind As Your Amusement Park”, and sheesh is this some impressive work.
MMAYA is a fully realized alternate sonic reality – constructed from the molecular level of granular atmosphere all the way up to massive organisms traversing the landscape. The sounds trigger the imagination in such a potent way, manifesting entire new dimensions as I allow myself to be lost in the tracks.
Songs like “Arrival” have me feeling like I am actually soaring a thousand feet above an alien landscape on the back of some ancient god, approaching the surface with consideration for landing. It seems like at any moment during my listening, I could escape to such a world in my mind, the potency is incredible and magnificent.
This is also one of those albums I adore because of its flexibility! The type of piece you can listen to as closely as you’d like – have it as an atmospheric boost while you’re sorting your life, or throw on the headphones for deeper appreciation – I feel like both experiences are worthwhile and really speaks to the quality of the work.
At the time of this posting the digital album has just released – but you can head over to Qrates to help this project get pressed to vinyl! In case the project isn’t fully funded, word on the streets is there will be a CD/Tape release in the future, which I am super excited for! Highly recommended no matter how you want to listen to it…
Memphis Dronegaze outfit Nonconnah are back to bless us with a small selection of B-Sides, or “Outtakes” as they cinematically refer to them, which were recorded between 2015-2018.
The resulting collection is a subtle and blissful gathering of sounds – with a general uplifting vibe to the work. As always there is a selection of other musicians enlisted to fill-out the sonic landscape, though most of the tracks seem to be produced by the core unit. Overall this one is quite nice, a relaxing little listen, and a pleasant surprise to see pop up in my feed today! Do yourself a favor and give it a spin – you can name your own price for the download via the artists Bandcamp page…
Nonconnah – the continuing sonic explorations of dynamic duo Denny Wilkerson Corsa and Zachary Corsa – together with their enlisted army of experimental musicians – presents us with an incredible full-length project “Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces of Diamonds, Live Cats” and boy is it a doozy!!
Rocking a hefty 21-track playlist, nonconnah proves yet again that this team is hardly short on ideas and inspiration, even with a wake of outstanding previous releases and projects (I have long been a fan of Lost Trail) it manages to be something special.
During my listens found it easy to imagine myself wandering a mysterious countryside – with each track being a spontaneous road to turn down – a new adventure to experience. Discovering hidden lakes, abandoned factories, forgotten occult churches and pow-wows of anthropomorphic farm machinery.
Personal favorite track has got to be Ceiling To Ceiling Transmission Antenna – but chances are that is on account of my own undying love for the tone of a Clarinet – lending this track such a pure and wholesome vibe.
With over 20 tracks to tell the tale, Nonconnah really deliver with this full length – providing a listen that is truly rewarding and only improves on repeat 👍
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!
Incoming drone goodness via collaborative project Glowing Swords, consisting of Zachary Corsa (Nonconnah, ex Lost Trail) and Scott Cortez (Astrobrite, Lovesliescrushing). The Autumn Elegy brings us 10 tracks of soaring, fuzzy noisescapes that are both lush and withering. A thick haze forms over each track, at some points obscuring the senses entirely in pieces such as Calrn which seem to be performed in some otherworldly etherial cavern, then broadcast to the countryside over AM radio. It’s musty and dusty and I love it.
What really grips me about this album is the hidden melodies my brain finds. There is a very therapeutic and rewarding quality to the blissed-out leads that seem to drift in and out of the mix. It’s often right when I am beginning to succumb to the world the track is building, the moment disbelief is suspended, that these melodies creep onto the canvas and introduce a whole new vibe! These gems are what make this album a good repeat listen in my opinion; being an album that can be enjoyed both subliminally and intellectually.
You can download the album via Bandcamp or purchase a Deluxe CD edition via Wist Records which looks so cool! It’s got tons of additional goodies