reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
Upon first listening to Beachglass’s debut EP Clouding, I felt the urge to launch into that old “spot the influences” game that music reviewers so often play. It was exciting, but it also became apparent that it was perhaps beside the point of the EP. When it comes to modern psychedelic music, the influences are floating above, ever present, but tethered firmly to their time. Clouding is more than an amalgamation of the 60s or the 90s: it’s 2017 in shoegaze form, so let’s let go.
Melodic guitar licks throw Andrea Cormier’s effected vocals into the stratosphere on “Lay Low”, which introduces Beachglass’s hazy sound and hooks you to it with a melodic focus not always found on modern shoegaze tracks. Following the opening track, the songs become individualized through emotion: the softness of the cymbals and the vocals clutching to meaningful moments on “Glass” plays against the bouncy, clicking percussion and reintroduction of electric guitar on “Stranger”. “Hard Heart” breaks away from the psychedelic sounds to spend a moment with melancholia. It feels more like modern day indie with a dash of ghostliness provided by vocal layering and smooth harmonies.
There isn’t one element of Beachglass that rises above the others. The vocals may shine and soar on one track, only to be shown up by Adam Nicoll’s lead guitar blaze on the next. The aptly timed prominence of the percussion ties the EP together into one package, and helps to form fantasies of the energy these songs would create when performed live.
For a first release, the four songs on Clouding — and the first three in particular — show an aptitude to become the next gem of modern psychedelic rock. Let go of critical thinking for a moment and let this release wash over you. You will find yourself floating.
Top Track: “Lay Low”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)