Thursday, January 31, 2013

REVIEW: Pia Fraus - Silmi Island

Pia Fraus is a shoegaze and dream pop band from Estonia, formed in 1998 by art school friends.  Over the following ten years they logged a numerous hours performing and miles touring, and recorded four LPs.  This month, old fans and potential new fans can experience the bands' best tracks from 1998-2008 on Silmi Island.  There are 13 tracks on the vinyl album and 15 on the CD/Digital; all tracks have been remastered.

Pia Fraus' sound is characterized by dense, layered textures of guitars, synths and vocals, although when called upon the rhythm section steps to the fore (for example, "You Look Fine", below).  And their production decision to bring the boy girl vocals up in the mix and penchant for varying the pace and intensity of the tracks give them a distinct and welcome place in the dreamier end of the shoegaze spectrum.  Most importantly, while capturing the sonic approach of their shoegaze forebears, Pia Fraus never ignored the hooks and melodies that make songs memorable.

One of my favorites --

An excellent example of Pia Fraus' dream pop style --

The members of the band are Eve Komp (vocals and synth), Kärt Ojavee (synth), Rein Fuks (guitar and vocals), Tõnis Kenkmaa (guitar), Reijo Tagapere (bass), and Margus Voolprit (drums).  Former members included Kristal Eplik (vocals) and Joosep Volk (drums).

Silmi Island is released by Shelflife Records in the US and Seksound in Estonia, and is available on vinyl and CD as well as digital download.

Shelflife Records

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