Classic shoegaze sound
A Shoreline Dream, the self-described “progressive shoegaze postpunk outfit,” have put forth an excellent offering in their newest EP, Waitout. Hailing from Colorado, the band consists of core members Ryan Policky (vocals, guitar, keys, bass) and guitarist Erik Jeffries, who reconnected with original A Shoreline Dream drummer Gabriel Ratliff for the recording of Waitout. The band’s dreamy, sleepy sound lulls listeners into a trance, realizing only once the final track ends that they were ensnared by its mystique.
On Waitout, the band explores interesting melodic avenues while remaining true to its core sound, giving it a consistently soothing, hypnotic voice. Although this EP will eventually be part of a larger album to be released on vinyl, one of Waitout’s greatest strengths is how effective it is as a standalone release.
The album begins with the title track, an open and spacey sounding song with strong shoegaze and dream pop elements. Much like the rest of the EP, “Waitout” is led by a prominent synth sound, guitars drenched in reverb and modulated vocals. Midway through, the track cascades beautifully into a dream-like trance that the listener will not awaken from until the EP concludes. Although it is one of the better songs on the EP, it is not particularly well-mixed. The vocals are often drowned out by the instrumentation, and the lyrics are often difficult to discern.
One of the band’s greatest strengths throughout Waitout is their masterful use of noise. This is showcased most prominently on “Barnum,” a beautiful instrumental track. The introduction overlays the sound of running water and a blowing wind, easing the listener into the song’s soothing embrace. The wind motif is then reprised at the end of the song, making for an excellent and peaceful outro.
“New York” indulges the band’s predilection for experimentation. From the beginning, it sounds like something that aliens might listen to. The band delves head-on into the realm of effects and modulation, though it’s perhaps a bit heavy-handed. This track feels a bit more meandering than the others, and it stands out as a weak spot. Even still, the outro is resounding and triumphant.
“In The Ready Sound” is another single, and it maintains the band’s shoegaze roots while venturing into uncharted territory. The audio fades off at the 2:20 mark, and the listener is immediately roped back in by a thunderous, fuzz-filled guitar riff. As the keys, rhythm section and heavily modulated vocals are reintroduced, the band melds hard rock influences into its classic shoegaze sound seamlessly.
Waitout is a beautiful EP from front to back. It combines all the best elements of shoegaze music with the band’s myriad of influences, yet it retains a solid and cohesive voice throughout. Waitout is a spellbinding release, sure to thrill shoegaze and dream pop enthusiasts.