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Monday, 9 May 2016

FOLLOW THE SEA – BLUE JOY (Häxrummet Records LP, D/L).

Landing in our inbox a few days ago was Blue Joy, the debut album from the "Scandidelic" Noise Rock band Follow The Sea. The Stockholm based duo comprised of Erik Solfeldt and Magnus Lundgren draw inspiration from the Shoegaze scene, but there is a far more dark experimental ambient electronica edge to their music which really makes them stand out from the endless parade of MBV, Slowdive and Jesus And Mary Chain copyists which has become really boring........like all of the other previous genre “revivals”, the ‘Shoegaze revival’ is quickly starting to run out of steam due to a lack of any real innovation from many of the bands involved. Although Follow The Sea are grounded in classic fuzzed up and distorted early 90s Shoegaze, their debut album sees them exploring the far more interesting direction of ambient soundscaping and Drone Rock………more Seefeel than Slowdive.

Side one of Blue Joy has lots to love for fans of the Shoegaze Holy Trinity™……….the opening track ‘Dive’ is a joyous squall of distorted guitars while ‘In Time’ and ‘Fall’ are both a couple of atmospheric headswirlers that blend the elements of scuzzy fuzzed out Indie Rock with a shadowy Scandinavian melancholy. Although Follow The Sea’s most recent single ‘Virhe’ has more of an electronic dark heart, there is nothing here you will have not heard before but these tracks are very cool nevertheless. However, flip the disk and you will find the glacial ‘Breeze’, an epic 20 minute mix of cold ambient electronica and psychedelic Drone Rock. Performed by Follow the Sea along with sound designer and electronic music artist Niclas Lindgren (who also co-produced Blue Joy), ‘Breeze’ sees the band at their most innovative and experimental. Taking Eastern flavoured drones and re-tooling them for a Post-Rock age, the track slowly builds, evoking classic Popol Vuh and Tangerine Dream, gently throbbing but building in intensity until the drums finally kick in around the 15 minute mark exploding into a massive Krautrock/Space Rock groove before collapsing into an droning electronic coda………….with this track Follow The Sea have taken their Shoegaze influences to another place altogether, traveling to a far off distant psychedelic dimension, expanding their sonic vocabulary along the way. ‘Breeze’ is an excellent track you really must hear and Blue Joy is an album that shows a band not afraid to experiment……….hopefully a taster of the sonic possibilities to come.

Due for release on 25th May through Häxrummet Records, Blue Joy is available to pre-order from Follow The Sea’s Bandcamp page at http://followthesea.bandcamp.com/ where it is available as a limited run of 200 copies on black vinyl and as a digital download.


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