you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

17 November 2017

INTERVIEW: Breannyn deLongis of highandfragile.

Photo by Paul Vargas
No release of the past year has struck a more powerful emotional chord with us than highandfragile’s debut outing, an EP called I Was Not Well. The four track digital version was put out by the artist, Oakland’s Breannyn deLongis, in the closing days of 2016. She followed up with a very limited cassette edition including a bonus track this past June. The EP features drums by Adam Jennings and production and backing vocals from Kristina Esfandiari of San Francisco’s King Woman.

Some might chatacterize I Was Not Well as dark or negative. There is plenty of angst here, and not every moment of the EP is easy to listen to. For us, however, the sound of Breannyn bravely making art out of a woundedness and vulnerability that we connect with is glorious and, in its own way, uplifting. There have been days when we’ve listened to I Was Not Well over and over, finding each passage through this set of songs thrilling and somehow different from the others.

Rare is music so whole and powerful that it doesn’t so much stimulate this or that feeling as it magnifies the underlying capacity to feel altogether. Hearing music of this kind, we feel anything and everything; we get the sense we are experiencing the full spectrum of emotion, joy and sadness and anger and more, all at once. While feeling so fully can be overwhelming, it is also healing and relieving.

For us, highandfragile is this rare kind of music. We therefore feel especially privileged to present the following depthful interview, one of the most emotionally candid ones we’ve ever presented. Our gratitude goes out to Breannyn for the care and dedication that putting this piece together has required. We eagerly anticipate the upcoming releases that Breannyn describes at the close of the interview.

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Photo by Mary Manning
From our perspective it’s as if you’ve suddenly materialized with a powerful, singular sound and artistic voice already developed—but we realize that’s probably not very accurate. Could you fill us in a bit on your musical past and development?
I have been fighting being a "musician" for so long. My dad did sound for a touring grunge band when I was a baby so I wound up growing up around a bunch of band dudes with ripped jeans, long hair and drinking problems. I grew up watching them all lose their families, minds and whatever semblance of a life they had. By the time I could make "life decisions" I knew I loved music and words but I also knew that I desired the stability that I hadn’t witnessed as a child and concluded that being a musician did not coincide with my stable real world aspirations.

I was endlessly frustrated because I couldn’t focus long enough to sit and type or write out a story.  I could tell you a great story, but I didn’t have the patience to write it down for you. Adding a rhythmic and droning aspect like guitar helped coax the words out of me in a more natural and soothing way. At some point I couldn’t deny how important making music and art had become in my everyday life. I had to get over my fear of the future not working out because without being able to make music there was no possibility for a healthy future for me. Music and art slowly took over every part of my life and without them it’s hard to function. It’s a very hard process to explain but it has been lifelong.

03 November 2017

Kalamashoegazer 11: November 4th. BE THERE.

Flyer by Ann Escamilla

UPCOMING RELEASE: Rock Back: Stronger Than the Storm | a compilation in support of victims of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Cover Art by Andi Jossi

Release date: Nov 7, 2017
Rock Back: Stronger Than The Storm   

A compilation in support of victims of Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria
Over 50 tracks from artists from all around the globe have contributed their music to Rock Back: Stronger than the storm Disaster Relief Compilation to be released on Patetico Recordings.

The concept of the Rock Back compilation series was born in 2011 when disaster hit Japan and Tom Lugo, Patetico Recordings’ label owner who is very passionate about helping causes and non-profit organizations, decided to reach out to the community of artists he has in his network to put together a compilation with profits being donated to relief efforts. The response was overwhelming, over 100 artists all over the world joined to together in the efforts. What was to be a single CD compilation grew to an 8 disc compilation titled “Rock Back for Japan”.



@ Resistor Chicago 
2955 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago, Illinois 60618
Suggested donation: $7, bring your own libations, respect the amazing space! Check out the event here.

27 October 2017

INTERVIEW: The Morelings.

Photo by Bob Sweeney

The Morelings are the Philadelphia-based dream pop duo of Kedra Caroline and Matthew William. The pair just released their absolutely gorgeous debut LP, Same Century, on September 26 and frankly, we’re obsessed. We already knew and loved their No Sign EP, released in 2015, so we fully expected Same Century to be likewise excellent.

“Excellent”, however, is an understatement. The record is a perfectly crafted slice of bliss pop heaven. Many stylistic influences can be heard in their dynamic sound – 60s girl groups, early psychedelia, 80s and 90s dream pop, the softer side of synth pop, Disintegration-era production – but they never sound imitative or unoriginal. In fact, their unique blend of styles sounds nothing if not modern. 

One of our best reviewers, Elizabeth Klisiewicz, recently reviewed Same Century for our friends over at The Big Takeover, and she perfectly states our feelings with her typical aplomb and flair for finding just the right phrase. Head over there and read it!

We are very happy to share the following interview with you. Do check out Same Century – it will no doubt be one of the crowning jewels in our Best of 2017 list.

How and when was the band formed?
The band formed when Kedra and I began writing songs together, which was approximately 4 years ago.

Can you tell us what the band has been working on and what you've got forthcoming in the near future (any new releases, tour, etc.)?
We’re currently writing songs for a new album, which we’ll begin recording soon. We’re super excited. Our sound has evolved a lot with the current configuration of our band. We’ve also been playing shows to support the release of our debut LP Same Century, which came out at the end of September. Our next show is in Philly in early December. We’ll also be releasing another video from the album soon.

16 October 2017

ALBUM REVIEW: Miniatures | Jessamines. By Elizabeth Klisiewicz.

Miniatures - Jessamines (Saint Marie Records)

I’ve known about this album for a while. Back in 2016, I first communicated with guitarist Ché Walden and he was kind enough to send me a copy. He was also searching for a label and the band’s vocalist had left the fold (not sure if she ever came back), and happily, they are now on the venerable Saint Marie Records here in the US. Both Ché and vocalist Annemarie Duff hail from New Zealand but pulled up stakes and moved to Melbourne, the band’s home base. With the addition of Chris MacLean on bass, the band worked with renowned Melbourne producer Matthew Hosking on this debut release.

To say it’s a beauty of a record, full of shimmering goodness, is an understatement. It contains all the elements to send psych/shoegaze fans into aural overdrive. Annemarie’s cooing vocals perfectly suit this densely textured music, and Ché knows his way around a guitar. Hard to believe it’s only three people working in tandem, but the wonders of modern day studios make it all happen. This is no paint by numbers gaze as so many others are; they really have found a niche with their sound. Note that I put psych next to shoegaze above. To me, they go hand in hand with dream pop. It’s like a trifecta of cool, and Miniatures dips its toes into all three streams, though shoegaze is probably the primary genre explored here.

Starting out with the ethereal “Try”, you’ll be dosed with a touch of tranquil ambience mashed up with dreamy electronica. It’s not far off from the work Slowdive is producing now. The title track “Jessamine” is a barn burner with aggressive percussion that when peeled back, stands next to gracefully rendered guitar and Duff’s sweet vocals. “To the Lake” sounds the most like one of their influences (Lush), with guitars skittering lightly off the top of a towering stack of gauze. Hazy, dazy, and wonderful!

“Dust” has a rollicking beat that really appeals to me. “Without Saying” is like a dash of the Thames Valley 90s brought forward in time. It has a very determined focus on that classic sound, and I love skipping down memory lane as I listen. “Honey” is the obvious hit (to me), with its massive hooks and an instant head bobbing beat. Instant love! “What You Want” is another tune I’m fixated on, with its wall of fuzzed out gaze and Annemarie’s crystalline vocals.

No matter how much noise covers the main melody, you can’t keep it from soaring above all else. On this end, the somewhat ominous “Silent Tide” competes with the mournful wail of a distant train chugging by. I like the weather shift in mood, as this darker dream pop really suits the band. The final tune “Standstill” is contemplative and serene, bringing down the energy for a time before ending in fuzzed out bliss. A wonderful record from an emerging new talent!