When I was a kid, the one sound that made me realise I had to go to school was the sound of a distant factory. It resonated furiously at 6:30 AM and it was so intense, people I knew on the other side of Mexico City heard it too.
The first time I heard some shoegaze, I thought about that sound. Funny enough, a person close to me knew this sound and mentioned this same analogy (of sorts), so I guess great minds think alike and all that.
Now, Young Prisms might not be full-on shoegaze (although they got it cranked to 9.8) but they do have that otherworldly sound that makes shoegaze such a dreamy, loving sound.
The sound of many a memories and the ramblings of a dream diary, the songs in Young Prism‘s In Between are full of echoey reverb and a strange duality: songs with Stefanie Hodapp on vocals are cuddly and sweet, whereas songs with Giovanni Betteo sound a little more mournful, even threatening. Now, when the voices intertwine, like in ‘Dead flowers’ or in ‘Midnight’s when’, it becomes an interesting clash of emotions. ‘Dead flowers’ gets some of that 80’s gothic sound going around, but still, the feet are firmly put in the shoegazey shore. Heck, ‘Better days’ feels The Cure meets a cranked up hall reverb pedal, working a playful double act of female-male voice interactions.
Vocals, as you’d might expect, are a little obscured (it is part of the genre), rendering them to function like another instrument. The vocal delivery might sometimes feel almost robotic, but it works quite well in the context they are being delivered. ‘Gone’ feels like a very rainy day in the big city, with both good (some fresh water is always welcomed) and bad moments (stepping into a puddle wearing Converse tennis).
‘Four hours (away)’, this is an interesting one. It feels like a “slow dance” moment with a loved one. No, scratch that. It was something that happened 10, 15 years ago, so you’re remembering it with nostalgia, some moments are now distorted by the tides of time, but the fuzzy, warm feelings you had in that moment still surge and give you goosebumps. Sweet little track, followed by an equally lovely track called ‘Runner’, maybe the faster one in the bunch (the album is leisurely paced).
In Between is a great album for lovers of shoegaze (I’m quite satisfied with it). The ethereal sounds aren’t too murky to be lost as white noise (although I’m struggling with the lyrics, supposedly inspired by good ol’ Bukowski) and the alternation between female and male vocals is always an interesting spice to throw into the mix. You can get a free track from this band if you download Kanine Records sampler (which, hey, we reviewed!)
Words: Sam “abusing the term ‘dreamy’ since 2000” Valdes