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Shoegazer





Animal Flag frontman Matthew Politoski releases sprawling solo album

Matthew Politoski, frontman of the beloved Boston indie rock group Animal Flag, has released a sprawling instrumental solo album titled 8 Emanations, his first in over two years. The instrumental drones on 8 Emanations are entirely devoid of lyricism, or melody for that matter, and instead focus on ethereal and enveloping soundscapes, built using various acoustic and electronic instruments. Politoski’s newest work draws on influences ranging from European electronica and witch house music, displaying intuitive structures to darkly emotive and deeply stirring harmonic movements. The result is an incredibly warm and strangely inviting body of work that will take any Animal Flag fan by surprise. Stream and purchase 8 Emanations below, where all the proceeds will be donated to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. -Charley Ruddell





Oakland dreamraver PASTEL GHOST heads to SXSW

Oakland-based artist PASTEL GHOST is a synth-pop artist with a shoegazer's agenda—a combination not often found in the electronica scene. Operating under a genre that she calls “dreamrave,” her music is ethereal and elusive. Her single “POSSESSION” (streaming below) is just one example of how she layers her slippery vocals over driving synth beats to create a seductive and mysterious sound unlike any other. Effortlessly cool and complex, PASTEL GHOST is definitely one to keep an eye on as she works on recording and releasing a follow-up LP to her debut project, ABYSS. She will be making her way down to SXSW this year, with a showcase on March 15th. - Lilly Milman





Sundrifter release heavy, plodding new album “Visitations”

Hard rock trio Sundrifter have released their newest album Visitations, a full length followup to 2016’s Not Coming Back. The Boston three piece are most notable for their heavy approach and unrelenting walls of sound, reminiscent of grunge bands like Soundgarden and the Melvins, while also co-opting a uniquely melodic quality found in popular hard rock bands like Muse and Queens of the Stone Age. Visitations plods and stomps in a relentless march employing riff after riff of Sabbath-esque mojo, where guitars and vocals are draped in fuzz and tinged with psychedelia. Check out Visitations below. -Charley Ruddell





SXSW Presents: Candace

Dreamy in every sense, the shoegazey-psych trio Candace (formerly Is/Is) haven't missed a beat since 2010. Made of Sarah Rose and Sarah Nienaber sharing guitar, bass and vocal roles and Mara Appel DesLauriers supplying drums and vocals as well, they've never ceased to have the utmost understanding of each other, the music they make and the world around them. This understanding aids them in bringing that whirring static sound from inside our brains in a way we actually want to absorb over and over again.

While always remaining pleasantly noisy, some Candace songs teeter closer to reverberated pop while others remain close to the washed out, droney atmospheric haze they've perfected throughout the years. On top of the mysteriously brooding feel their original tracks have to them, for the last couple of years they've released little collections of cover tracks in celebration of Valentine's Day, putting their own little spin on some deep cuts and leaving listeners with no shortage of work to dive into.

No matter when you choose to dive into Candace's discography, its reliable yet sundry songs will pull you in as a fan. Expect the next full length from Candace, titled New Ruins, to be out just in time for SXSW in early March. 





SXSW Presents: Floating Room

 In what is best described as "gray pop," the music Floating Room makes creates a sense of mellow desire; a longing manifested through their use of droned hums and haunting vocality. Floating Room is the musical partnership between Maya Stoner (ex-Sabonis) and Kyle Bates (Drowse, also featuring Stoner), though their partnership expands to much more than what started as bedroom pop recordings. In a romantic sense the couple's chemistry, aside from their collective experimental and artistic capacity, helps make Floating Room what it is. Tenderness isn't feared on either of their ends, and their propensity for support behind the instruments and in front of them is evident 

Sunless, the band's 2016 full-length debut on Good Cheer Records, married deep socio-emotional themes with paralyzing sounds. Stoner and Bates trade off guitar and synth duties as they channel part of makes Sunless (and the way they play together in general) beguiling - its vulnerability. Stoner sings about the transition from a bad relationship to a much better one, touching on abuse of power and misogyny along the way. For most, the subject matter is relatable, giving a welcoming sense to each of the tracks.

The openness presented on the album translates into Floating Room's live performances as well. They'll be touring with Alien Boy (which is led by Sonia Weber, Floating Room's sometimes drummer) and are playing four SXSW dates, so see them as much as you can.

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