This is Volume 3 of one of my favorite genre’s of music – music inspired by the sounds of the Drive Soundtrack. This mix features new releases that I feel would have fit perfectly on the soundtrack.
Pinkshinyultrablast make no secret of their influences: the band’s very name is taken from an album by Astrobrite, one of the many projects by shoegaze guitar god Scott Cortez (Loveliescrushing, STAR). Cortez’s love of multilayered guitar textures is present and accounted for in the gloriously loud sound of Pinkshinyultrablast. Despite hailing from the unlikely birthplace of St. Petersburg, Russia, the band prove that shoegaze is a universal language with their new single, “Kiddy Pool Dreams.”
Love Dies, the latest single from Sweden’s Club is a thing of ethereal beauty. From the moment Karolina Komstedt’s gorgeous vocals usher the track in, you are swept along on the loveliest, fluffiest cloud imaginable. Johan Angergård’s light and airy synths lift things to a dreamy, romantic plain.
The remix by Modular adds synthy overtones and backbeats to the track (I went back and found the original was pretty damn good in its own right). Cort’s smooth vocals evoke memories of Tim Burgess (The Charlatans UK) and Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream)
Feathered with optimism, “Rainy Day” is a really just a simple song about taking negativity and trying to make the best of it. Its hopeful lyrics, laced through with the singer’s beautiful and unusual lilt, paint an upbeat picture of wearing a smile as an umbrella. With its positive, danceable beat and bright melody, it is delightful in its candid, buoyant cheerfulness, completely unabashed.
Wow, this is one awesome collaboration. The eclectic and multi-talented Beck sounds totally at home here over a bouncy synth beat from Electronic dance giants The Chemical Brothers. The first half of the track is a smooth and playful with repeated mantras of “I’m wide open” and “It’s getting away from me”
This one will have you singing along in no time, but you might want to do this in private. I would imagine that walking around belting out, “My heart is in flames, a-ooooooo” might garner some strange looks. Trust me though, it’s going to happen.
The melodic and infectious 2nd single, I Wanna Get Lost With You is from the forthcoming record, Keep The Village Alive. The single is a great sign of things to come as Kelly and Co have always had an arsenal of rockers as well as mid-tempo ballads but Jones has a tendency to stretch that unique voice of his at times. Here, he finds the perfect middle ground with guitars just punchy enough to make the song anthemic.
The new track falls squarely into the perhaps overused genre term of Chillwave and appropriates the same space as hometown boys Small Black. Originally a member of Beach Fossils, alongside Zachary Cole Smith who also left the band to form DIIV, Peña has done the Captured Tracks label proud with a couple of full length releases. Intent foreshadows the LP Designer, scheduled for late 2015.
If The Raveonettes swapped their Jesus & Mary Chain records for the entire Depeche Mode catalog, the result might be something like “Heartbeat,” the second track on Pale Reflections and arguably its most accessible. Airy synthesizers and a slinky bass-line set the stage for the chorus to break out in a danceable electronic beat as vocalist Victoria Cecilia, backed by a layer of washed out guitars, declares, “I got a beating heart/I got a beating heart for you, girl.”
An amalgam of animal and artifice, “Daisy Cutter” thumps into being with a calling that immediately commands the struggle taking place within its tones. With an inherent uncertainty, there is still the sense of something victorious here; veiled among the overturning of allegories and pontifications on doubt is a creeping self-awareness of purpose that builds this song into an anthem at its climax. This is a song about survival, about laying waste to obstacles and destroying barriers to find truth and faith beyond a seemingly endless void.
Unlike some noise pop acts who think turning the volume knob all the way up is enough to compensate for any songwriting deficiencies, Westkust possess a keen melodic sensibility, not to mention a romantic yearning that aligns them with Buzz Buzz Buzz era The Primitives. 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.