ARTIST: The Stargazer Lillies
RELEASE: Door To The Sun
RELEASE DATE: 03/06/16
RECORD COMPANY: Graveface Records & Curiosities
Psychedelic Shoegaze threesome The Stargazer Lilies have never taken the easy way out. Their sound is dense yet soft, huge yet subtle. They seem to always choose a more interesting path. Why do a straight cover of a classic (Serge Gainsbourg’s – ‘Bonnie and Clyde‘) when you can, instead, make it new by using Bonnie’s poetry for lyrics. Or on ‘We Are The Dreamers (Reverse)‘ they write – ‘This track was bounced to 2 track reel to reel from the original pro-tools session of ‘We Are The Dreamers’ and the tape was reversed and re-recorded back into pro-tools…’ I have no idea why they did that, but I love it and LOVE that they take chances on their sonic adventure. Their second release, ‘Door to the Sun‘, out now on Graveface Records, features John Cep’s guitars drenched in reverb, distortion and tremolo alongside quite possibly the best drum sounds since The Beatles’ – ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ or Led Zeps – ‘When The Levee Breaks’. ‘Door To The Sun’ is available to buy/download right now from: graveface.bandcamp.com/album/door-to-the-sun
Buried in layers of sonics, the first offering on the album ‘Golden Key’ seems less like a meal and more like a taste of all the things to come. And it is! It’s an album baked in the shade just outside the summer sun. These musicians can’t help but challenge everything they do. Nothing is straight here. They constantly push their sound to find the next great place. The glue that holds it all together is Kim Field with her soft, angelic voice and her ability to turn fascinating sonic excursions into gentle, twisted pop adventures. Standout tracks include the lens-flare infused ‘Summer’s Gone’, a song perfectly executed to evoke the bittersweet feeling of friendships lost amidst changing seasons, and ‘When With You’, which tastes of a more melodic “Hazy Shade of Winter” buried in a Phil Spector wall of sound. There are times, like on ‘Personal Autumn’, where I wish they’d pull back the echo and reverb to let the songs stand on their own, but this is simply quibbling as The Stargazer Lilies can’t stop themselves from trying to create new, interesting, dynamic sounds.
The album ends with the psych-trance-ambient ‘A Beautiful Space’, which is exactly what they’ve created; beauty in space. ‘Door to the Sun’ feels like one of those albums that we’ll be dissecting for years to come. It’s a small step in a musical evolution that began in the dark recesses of Burt Bacharach’s bad dreams and fell through a hole blown open by early Pink Floyd, Lush and My Bloody Valentine. Understand that this is dense, multi-layered stuff that may take a while to truly grasp, but it’s really interesting and deserves time on your headphones.
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