About this compilation…
The idea was simple, but the execution turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had expected it to be. In the end, having too few countries represented when using only releases from 2015—I had eight but wanted ten, and way too many if I included releases from 2014, I compromised by taking those eight tracks from 2015 and adding another eight tracks by different bands from the same countries. Most of the additional tracks were released in 2014, but there is also one each from 2013 and 2015.
As a result, you will find two tracks of psych-tinged Shoegaze each from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and the USA, making a total of sixteen tracks (plus a bonus track).
In a way, “meadowsweet” by Chatham Rise (mixed by Mark Gardener) is a perfect choice to kick off this compilation, having been released in both 2014 and 2015. This single track was posted to Bandcamp last September, but has subsequently been remastered by Andrew Rose—the new version replacing the old in February. Highlands is the other half of the USA’s contingent. “Onto You” is a track from their well-received Dark Matter Traveler, which was released last year.
Canada is represented by Holy Mount and Constellation Nightclub, who contributed “Sunset” from last year’s VOL and “Dream Love” from this year’s Hero EP respectively. From Down Under we have the title track from the 2014 Copper Girl single by The Grand Rapids as well as “Let It Go”, the first track from this year’s Volume Two, the second album released by The Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Aussie cousins: The Grease Arrestor.
Also south of the Equator, Brazil contributes “Away to Mars” by The Sorry Shop from Mnemonic Syncretism, an album I didn’t discover until this year, but which would have been on my ‘top ten albums of 2014’ list, and “Nothing Else” from Always Nothing, Something Nowhere by The Silent Party.
Both of Denmark’s representatives are from Aarhus, which incidentally is where I went to live when I moved to Denmark in ’76. Tales of Murder and Dust brings us “Tremblin’” from the 2013 release Skeleton Flowers, while Spökraket (Swedish for ghost rocket, a type of UFO frequently sighted in Scandinavia in 1946) offers up “Tandava” from 2015’s In A Witch Forest.
From Russia with love, we receive gifts from Lava Lite and Cosmic Letdown. The former presents us with “Don’t You Know” from their self-titled EP—a favorite of mine last year, which is also being re-released this year by Far From Moscow of Los Angeles, whose mission, it seems, is to spread the word about recordings from Russia. I have no idea how to pronounce the latter’s “Боль” much less what it means. I could have used “Мэри”, which I recognized as “Mary” from last year’s EP of the same name, but I liked “Боль” better.
In my opinion, “Raed”, a single track posted to Bandcamp last year, is the most overtly psychedelic track Bleak Boys have released so far. Also representing Mexico is OCEΔNSS, who takes us to the “Outer Limits”, a track from its Atlantic EP.
The first quarter of 2015 has nearly passed, and one of my favorite releases (and definitely my favorite album) of these past three months is New Candys As Medicine by those Italian masters of Psychedelia: New Candys. Collin of Chatham Rise and the Picture In My Ear label was kind enough to give me an advance copy of “Dark Love” to use in this compilation, but it took me so long to put it together that the album was released first and I ended up choosing to use the aptly titled “Endless Deadline” instead.
Originally, I intended to use “Green Sight”, a single track posted to Bandcamp by My Invisible Friend as the bonus track, but I couldn’t make the track from a third Italian band fit in this compilation, so it looked like I was going to do without a bonus track. That is until another single track by a third Aussie band, The Dunes, showed up just in time to fill that void with “When You Wake Up”.
Having listened to earlier EPs from The Dunes, I have to agree with the assessment by musicsa that the band’s genre is best described as Dream Pop. With this single track, however, they seem to be exploring a much fuzzier sound. Hopefully, they will like the results as much as I did.
TRACK LIST & SOURCES
01. “Meadowsweet” by Chatham Rise ❀ facebook
02. “Sunset” by Holy Mount ❀ facebook
03. “Copper Girl” by The Grand Rapids ❀ facebook
04. “Away to Mars” by The Sorry Shop ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud
05. “Tremblin’” by Tales of Murder and Dust ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud
06. “Can’t You See” by Lava Lite ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud ❀ vimeo
07. “Raed” by Bleak Boys ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud
08. “Endless Deadline” by New Candys ❀ facebook ❀ website ❀ YouTube
09. “Onto You” by Highlands ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud ❀ Instagram
10. “Dream Love” by Constellation Nightclub ❀ facebook
11. “Let It Go” by The Grease Arrestor ❀ facebook ❀ SoundCloud
12. “Nothing Else” by The Silent Party ❀ facebook
13. “Tandava” by Spökraket ❀ facebook
14. “Боль” by Cosmic Letdown ❀ facebook
15. “Outer Limits” by OCEΔNSS ❀ facebook
16. “Green Sight” by My Invisible Friend ❀ facebook
Bonus Track “When You Wake Up” by The Dunes ❀ facebook ❀ webpage