Monday, October 5, 2015

The Shifting Sands - Cosmic Radio Station

One of the pleasures of listening to pop music is finding a band that has a clear vision of the sound they want to produce, and the ability to deliver that sound.  When it is a sound that you like, the pleasure is sublime indeed.  For me ears, The Shifting Sands, from the south island of New Zealand is such a band.  Their new LP, the appropriately named Cosmic Radio Station, is a ten-song tapestry of note perfect psychedelic pop, featuring intricately layered guitars, fuzz, feedback, melody, drone, and airy vocals.  While staying within the psychedelic channel, the band is adept at changing pace and emotional space, resulting in an album that evokes the namesake breadth of the cosmos.  The three songs I've provided below, triumphant album opener "Waiting For The Sun", the sparkling "All The Stars" and the chugging "Should Be Better" -- provide but a taste of the goods on offer.  Other highlights are the thick psychedelic drone of "Making It Through" and "Abstract Objects", "Coming Back" (with David Kilgour of The Clean and David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights on guitar) and "Whareakeake".  The latter, a short instrumental, presumably named after the surf beach near Dunedin, currently is song on the album I'm most inclined to repeat.  For fans of psychedelic pop, like me, this is an inspired album.  From where did the inspiration derive, from the cosmic radio station, of course.  And this album translates it very, very well.

The Shifting Sands are Mike McLeod (guitar/vocals), Tom Bell (bass) and Jake Langley (drums).  The trio run and allegedly haunted music venue called Chick's Hotel in Port Chalmers, which is near Dunedin.  Able assistance on a couple tracks is provided by David Kilgour on guitar and Alex Vaatstra on violin.  Cosmic Radio Station is released by Dunedin label Fishrider Records, which not only performs a wonderful service in exposing the music of the south island to a broader audience, but has excellent and varied taste, as demonstrated on the label's Bandcamp page.

UK fans are advised that Occultation Records will have copies of the album later this month.

Bandcamp for Cosmic Radio Station
Fishrider Records
Fishrider Records' Bandcamp page
Occultation Records

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