Nostalgia Kisses The Future with Shades of Sadness and Sorrow by Stellarscope

Yup, nothing could represent the power of indie music that Philadelphia’s own Stellarscope. They are back with a new album called Shades of Sadness and Sorrow. They are improving on the sound that defines them as a band: a combination of 80’s post punk, dream pop and Gothic atmosphere. a2476030429_10

There are 10 songs from this album. Shades of Sadness and Sorrow is their latest release after The End is Near. I’m Not Prepared (March 2014). The album will be officially launched early this March 2015. It is amazing that the Shades of Sadness and Sorrow sounds complex considering that there are only two personnel under Stellarscope: Tom Lugo and Bob Forman.

The recording is so lo-fi you would think you are listening to a cassette tape from some obscure 80s band. And that’s the way I like it. In a way it is a trip to the bast while at the same time the subject is very much relevant to what’s going on in the world. The vocals sound like they could have been recorded inside an abandoned factory as you can notice in the echo.

Dug this Hole greets us with its energetic style plastic through speakers. Perhaps this might be the band’s carrier single. We will see. It is hard to choose which track stands out. There’s Never Hated Like This (which I can personally relate to following the tragic personal events in my life three years ago). Although I think Living in a Haze is my favorite of all. I love the hazy guitar sounds that encircle the song creating a plasma of stellar radiation amidst the pulsing rhythm.

Farewell sounds like an intro from either a Sioux’s or old Cure song. I don’t know how to describe it…but classy could a fitting word. The Mansonisque Eat Your Heart Out sounds a bit chaotic but the drums are crunchy like spicy peanuts. After the aggression and robust sounds of the previous tracks, It’s All Gone Slows the pace. The glorious guitars of Soul Disturbances reminds me a bit of Bauhaus especially that the singing is unmistakably Peter Murphy. I love it! Face the Dirt closes this carousel ride with high notes.

Stellarscope proves that what is beautiful about rock in the 80’s is here to stay. And it is a joy to be showered by music like this at a time when everything feels bland.

Peter Murphy is back with Lion!

Savagely beautiful with songs painted with his ink-black voice. Yes this is the iconic Peter Murphy. There were detractors who thought that nothing would suffice post Bauhaus but he proved them wrong. With every album, his craft gets better and better. He is in top shape and form. This man never gets old and he still retains that charisma of his youth. That voice is still a  force of nature.

The new single is Hang Up with that droning intro. The song is clearly electronic but with the same energy as classic Murphy. The eleven tracks off Lion promise to enchant and stun listeners with their inventiveness. It looks like the Goth icon will win more fans with the new album. I wrote an interview with him for a Gothic magazine. So I am really excited with his answers!


Dream while drowning by Drowning Dreams


When stress hits, I just want to lie down and listen to a dreamy kind of music. I am perhaps a bit Gothic so I don’t really go for fluffy and happy sounds with the exception of Cocteau Twins. Drowning Dreams sound like a cool answer to one’s thirst for unique music. The guitars remind me a bit of old Cure, The Smiths and Bauhaus-and yes Cocteau Twins. There’s that jangly feel. But there’s also that laid back effects that tell you this is not a tired 80s dark wave rip off, but rather a style of its own that’s ever evolving. The music of Dream while drowning is a seascape of infinite bliss.

Upon few listens, you get that impression of swimming in cerulean seas of sonic meditation that remains unbroken until the last track. The seamless, diaphanous meshing and cavorting of sounds create that effect of being inside a womb. Drowning Dreams are a band emerging from Philadelphia’s burgeoning collective of independent artists called Patetico Recordings. The guys behind specialize  in lo-fi post rock, dreampop, shoegazer, electro-dreampop, nu-gaze, electropop, dreamy, psychedelic, slocore, indie rock, post rock, post punk, DIY, ethereal-name it, they got it.

You can tell that the tracks in Dream while drowning have undergone laser-like production technique. Such meticulous attention to sonic detail can be found in songs like Leave it All Behind where there’s this lengthy guitar instrumental at the end of the song(two and a half minutes). I like Sirens of Io because of the title and the arrangement. Man, the guitar style is enough to drive any Robin Guthrie and Liz Fraser fan drool.

I usually listen to this album late at night when I am trying to tone down the mood and imagine the ethereal guitars create light patterns on the ceiling. Yes, I listen to this to let the time pass until lids become heavy and Morpheus calls. There are more yummy tracks like To hell you opened the gates, Ipotane, Mephistopheles and a whole bunch. The titles just dance around my brain.

So if it is a Saturday night and you are staying home, push the time with this album. Who knows? Your subconscious might inspire you to do works of genius!