Gotheburg shoegazers Westkust fit nicely into the trend of stellar indie acts, The Radio Dept. and Acid House Kings among them, who call Sweden their home. Formed in 2010, the band first drew attention with 2012’s Junk EP, a fuzzbomb of distorted guitars with dual male-and-female vocals and a decidedly surf rock flair. 2013’s Summer 3D single functioned as a prelude to the band’s highly anticipated debut LP, which has at long last arrived with this summer’s Last Forever.
Album opener “Swirl” serves as the band’s mission statement: the song is a concise blast of summery noise pop, carried along by a buoyant and melodic guitar line that recalls the best of early New Order. The chorus erupts into a burst of ragged distortion as vocalist Julia Bjernelind lets out a heartfelt refrain of, “I don’t want you to go/I don’t want you to leave.” Endlessly replayable, “Swirl” is the kind of track that’s destined to become an instant playlist staple.
With their penchant for plaintive lyrics and jagged guitar noise, Westkust are the rare act that should unite both fans of vintage shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine as well as anyone who still cherishes their C86 cassette. As the summer winds to a close, Westkust’s Last Forever stands out as one of 2015’s sonic highlights, and “Swirl” represents its flagship track.
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