Archives for posts with tag: Slowdive

RangitotoDay 31 of our 31 days of May New Zealand Music Month marathon closes the set of songs with something only a few days old from Auckland shoegaze ensemble Couchmaster. Here’s “Honey over Thunder” from a 5 song EP called “Tumor” released on 25 May.

I was going to select the opening track “Psychogenic Fugue” because it is dedicated to Dunedin music legend Peter Gutteridge and packs that familiar Snapper drone and drumbeat. But for the closing song for this year’s NZ music month trawl through the wonderful online underground of Bandcamp I couldn’t go past “Honey Over Thunder” with it’s wistfully melodic vocal from drummer Rachel Charlie and effortless reverb drenched psychedelia.

The EP is a wonderfully eclectic mix of guitar rock heavy on the atmospheric effects. It appears to be mostly the project of Rikki Sutton, from another shoegaze style Auckland band Eyes No Eyes. He’s guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and vocalist on most of the tracks as well as engineering and mixing the recording. Rachel Charlie on drums and vocals and Adison Whitley on guitar are the other two people who play on all the tracks. Extra points for naming the band after a great album by The Bats too.

 

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ozeanStep into this time machine courtesy of Ozean and find yourself in 1991… but in the San Francisco Bay area of California rather than England.

These three songs by Californian band Ozean date from 1991, the same year Slowdive’s first album “Just For A Day” was released. This fascinating interview shows there was more than just a musical connection between the bands at the time.

The first two songs here feature basslines and drums which are classic Cocteau Twins while the guitar miasma is a perfect echo of the sound of early Slowdive.

Lisa Baer’s vocals are closer to Rachel Goswell’s ephemeral wonder in Slowdive than Liz Fraser’s distinctive and exotic vocals in The Cocteau Twins, yet the atmosphere created on these songs is a perfect distillation of the essence of both bands in their early prime. It’s all the more wonderful when you read that she comes from a non-rock background and is actually more influenced by Astrud Gilberto, which makes sense.

These three wonderful songs – long lost and forgotten about after a cassette release in 1993 – have been mastered from a cassette tape and that sonic patina from tape compression and drop-outs just adds to the character.

The Bandcamp release from Ozean is to raise the money for a vinyl release. Sounds like a worthwhile investment to me. It’s an interesting and very worthy side note to an era in music that didn’t last much longer that Ozean did.

[Note June 2017: now the vinyl has been released the embed up above is now to the label page for the EP and the song.]

[Thanks to The Autumn Roses for the tip-off]

GoddessGoddesses are a ‘shoegaze’ styled band from Derby in the UK who have just this week released what appears to be their first album. Here’s the lovely “Say Nothing” as an introduction to the weightless atmosphere of their ghostly sound world.

The album mines some of the same dreamlike territory as Slowdive’s fabulous Souvlaki album, all gentle washes of diaphanous sound and melody.

“Say Nothing” flows through a variety of moods across its almost 8 minutes, slowly building and threatening to unleash some kind of sonic fury at about the half way mark.

However, there’s also a bit of that teasing Sigur Ros style restraint here and instead of the expected noise, the song takes an unexpected but quite brilliant leap into a brief psychedelic electronica moment at about the six minute mark before drifting back to earth again.

Elsewhere the album blends in some more saturated noise washes so it’s well worth sticking around to listen to all of it and losing yourself in the swirling mists of this very well crafted music.

Lowtide

For Day 10 of the unofficial Australian Music Month Trans-Tasman exploration I thought I should look for something outside the Bedroom Suck Records or Chapter Music catalogues. So I went for a random search on Bandcamp…. and eventually came across Melbourne band Lowtide and ‘Blue Movie’ from a forthcoming (July) album:

Lowtide are Giles Simon, Lucy Buckeridge, Gabriel Lewis, Anton Jakovljevic. Two things of note here – the first is they have two bass players which gives that lower end a nice chorus-phased kind of thing going on like early Cocteau Twins. The second is they must be huge fans of UK shoegaze sonic architects Slowdive. The name Lowtide would seem to be a play on that and the music is similarly hazy, washed out and just as gloriously dreamy and wonderful. I’d like to hear more than just this track on preview here so I’ll have to keep an eye out for the album on Melbourne’s Lost & Lonesome label.