About this compilation…
It took a bit longer to get the first cloudcast of the year posted in 2015 than it did in 2014, but here it is at last. This compilation features ten tracks, unevenly harvested from five nations, with five coming from the USA, and one each from Canada, the UK, the Russian Federation, Italy, and Spain.
The Pacific Northwest is not represented this time. In fact we don’t get any closer to the West Coast than San Antonio, Texas, home to BLOOM, whose old-school Shoegaze is one of the early highlights of the year. Sister Bear of Saint Paul, Minnesota, brings some lo-fi Noise Pop, while The Morelings of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania counter with etherial dreamgaze. Slotting in somewhere between these two sounds are Gibberish of Fayetteville, Arkansas and The Astral Planes of Louisville, Kentucky. No one in The Astral Planes takes credit for banjo playing, but I swear I can hear one being used intermittently throughout the album.
As with BLOOM, the noisy Post-Punk of Toronto, Canada’s Tyburn Fields reminded me of the good ol’ days of Shoegaze. I could have used either track from the band’s debut single in this cloudcast, but I thought “Always on Me” a slightly better fit. The best band name from among the ten contributors has got to go to London, England’s Love, Hippies & Gangsters. There is an obvious Psychedelia influence in their music, so I get the ‘Love’ and ‘Hippies’ part, but I’m not quite sure where the ‘Gangsters’ fit in.
I have to admit that the first two times I sampled Munic!‘s Enemies EP on Bandcamp, I found the vocals off-putting and I moved on. I kept coming back, however, drawn by the music of this Madrid, Spain quartet, until I finally purchased the EP. I had no such trouble with the three-track EP from My Invisible Friend of Parma, Italy. It was love at first listen. The first track is old-school Psychedelia with male vocals, and the second track is more of a drone with female vocals buried somewhere in the mix—just the way I like it.
The highlight of this compilation could easily have been expected to come from Pinkshinyultrablast‘s new album and first release since the amazing Happy Songs for Happy Zombies EP of 2009. Unfortunately, the band from Saint Petersburgh, Russia has not delivered an album to equal their debut EP. Most of the songs are weakened by being 50/50 hybrids of dreamy synthgaze followed by the guitar driven walls of sound I was hoping for. That said, “Ravestar Supreme” is a very good track and will certainly be in the running for ‘best of the compilation’.
TRACK LIST & SOURCES
01. “Less” by The Morelings ❀ facebook ❀ instagram ❀ tumblr ❀ website
02. “Not Easy” by Munic! ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud
03. “Trudy” by Gibberish
04. “Eyes” by My Invisible Friend ❀ facebook
05. “Rise” by BLOOM ❀ facebook
06. “Ravestar Supreme” by Pinkshinyultrablast ❀ facebook
07. “Always on Me” by Tyburn Fields ❀ facebook
08. “Tides” by The Astral Planes ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud ❀ tumblr ❀ website
09. “Tattoo” by Sister Bear ❀ facebook
10. “Through Your Mind” by Love, Hippies & Gangsters
❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud ❀ tumblr ❀ YouTube