you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

19 June 2018

ALBUM REVIEW: Heaven | All Love is Blue. Reviewed by Jack Beltane.


Heaven | All Love Is Blue

The thickness of great music can never be underestimated: the strongest tunes submerge you in a silken pool of sound and seduce you with the weight of it. On All Love Is Blue, Brooklyn three-piece Heaven hefts the full measure of great songs. The album weaves hypnotic tracks that are crafted from a depth of sound winnowed to a sharp edge, honed from rippling guitars and a fuzzed-out wall of rhythm.

Made up of Matt Sumrow (vocals and guitar), Mikey Jones (drums) and Lizzah Lohse (keyboards and vocals), Heaven surfaced in the wake of Sumrow and Jones working with artists such as Swervedriver, Ambulance LTD, and The Big Sleep. Jones and Sumrow formed Heaven as a duo in 2010 and released Telepathic Love in 2013. Five years later they've added Lohse and perfected their sound, creating All Love Is Blue, their sophomore release, on Little Cloud Records.


All Love Is Blue mines the mental landscape of the downtime between clubs -- those stolen moments of anticipatory calm while waiting for a bus or sitting on the subway, lost in the warmth of urban nights and the promise of adventure. From the liquid ease of the title track to the staccato timing of "Darken Fields," the album leads you into the spiraling echoes of the start-stop pace of a city that never sleeps because it takes all night to see everything. This is full, reflective music: block the noise, close your eyes, and vanish as the shoegaze vocals drift beneath psych guitars and an undulating bed of keyboards. 


All Love Is Blue is an atmospheric album about coming down before you go back up: it reminds you that life is lived by us, in our cities and our dreams. “There's a hole in the mirror”, Sumrow sings on "The Sun Shines Through In The Evening," showing us that All Love Is Blue isn't a reflection of the artists but a window for you: it's reflective because it reminds you of your world and it reminds you there's still more to see. “Never The Moment” and Boo Radleys cover “Firesky” bookend the album: a driving overture with guitar work that slices into you, and a dark rocker to wake you up and remind you that the night isn't over yet. 


If Oasis had a soul and Mazzy Star had an urban background, you'd get close to Heaven. Thanks to Sumrow, Jones, and Lohse, you're already there.

Jack Beltane is a novelist and poet from Cleveland, Ohio, who nurses a heavy addiction to music. You can find him at jackofbells.com

WTSH #125 is now streaming on Mixcloud!


08 June 2018

Glitter and Glimpses: The Chills Mystery Box Unveiled. By Jenny Andreotti.


Last Fall I wrote about the importance of supporting The Chills Film’s Kickstarter campaign. I gushed in anticipation of receiving my own incentive: a mystery box of Martin Phillipps’ personal collectables. It arrived a little over a week ago, and ever since I have been gleefully trying to research the meaning of its’ contents. Two of the items came with detailed descriptions. One item contains four metallic purple rings that were a part of an instillation Phillipps created for a photoshoot for The Lost EP (1985) (the photo can be found on the backside of The Lost EP). The other item contains a tiny bottle of glitter (fit for Alice in Wonderland) that was prepared by both Phillipps and his mother as souvenirs for the 1982 debut of The Chills (please note this was the debut of phase 3 of The Chills). Other items related to The Chills include a gorgeous array of neon flyers (including the flyer from The Chills (phase 3) debut), an ad for “Tally Ho!” (2015), a postcard from The Chills’ Somewhere Beautiful (2013) collaboration with artist Shane Cotton, and a signed copy of Silver Bullets (2015) (promotional copy).

The box also contains an array of personal items. Two I have owned in the past (and had either sold during hard times or had lost during one of my many moves during my adulthood) and now belong to me once again like some cosmic boomerang (I am now once again the proud owner of Jack Kerouac’s The Subterraneans (Panther Edition 1962) and New York Dolls self-titled (1973) CD). Other items include a Matchbox version of Lady Penelope’s Fab 1 from Thunderbirds, a McDonald’s Happy Meal Catwoman Cat Coupe (1991), Snoopy comic strips (should integrate nicely into my own Peanuts collection), a signed but voided check (damn!), and much more. One item was indeed a mystery to me. An ominous picture of a fox beneath the words “There is no God but me.” Further research indicates that it is the work of Toothfish, anonymous environmentalist and artist (I’m hooked!).

Owning the box is a thrill and being the caretaker of a small portion of my favorite band’s history brings me great joy. It’s been a pleasure getting a glimpse into Martin Phillipps’ Kaleidoscope World. I learned I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I did about The Chills, and credit the box with deepening my understanding of one of the most significant and influential Indie artists of all time. I look forward to The Chills’ future and eagerly anticipate their forthcoming full-length, and documentary film. Here’s to The Chills, and to the beautiful sounds Martin Phillipps will bring into the world for many years to come.


Links:
www.thechillsfilm.com  (The Chills Film’s Website)
www.softbomb.com  (The Chills’ Website)
www.toothfish.org (Toothfish website)

06 June 2018

TONIGHT! WTSH airs on DKFM @ 10pm ET.



TONIGHT! Expect new tunes by Agent blå, The City Gates, NO SWOON, There's Talk, Thud, Vet Trip, Swirlpool, DORIAS BARACCA, Soft Science + MORE!

Stream it live
10pm ET/9pm CT/7pm PT
decayfm.com or via the app