Antipodean shoegaze alert!
To title your 2nd album Cosmic Radio Station is a bold move but not if the sounds it contains can back it up. Fortunately New Zealand trio The Shifting Sands have concocted a pleasing mix of hazy shoegaze and indie thrum and chime which more than backs up the claim. Softly sung vocals and poppy melodies break through the wall of sound making the album as much about tunes as it is about textures.
Highlights include the moody 'Making It Through' where the band get a chance to max out their pedal boards, 'Coming Back', a pop tune in noisy wolf's clothing, and the short instrumental 'Whareakeake', a nod to where the album was recorded, its yearning folk melody adorned with baroque strings. Throughout the record noise is tempered by melodies, which break through the shimmer like sunshine through clouds.
Fans of Chaptehouse, Slowdive and the like will feel right at home, as will those of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Other signposts include The Psychedelic Furs, Kurt Vile, and Ultra Vivid Scene. That said, there ain't nobody around right now quite like The Shifting Sands. Check 'em out!
Click here for The Shifting Sands on Facebook.
Click here for Occultation Recordings
Click here for Fishrider Records.