05
Mar
09

Barefoot and Stargazing: Pooma’s Persuader and Kingsbury’s Lie to Me


Shoegaze, or as it’s also known, dreampop, is one of those genres that when done not so well, is pretty tedious and self-indulgent, but when done really well, can sound more like star gazing than shoegazing. Having said this, I will now introduce two bands who are doing more of the latter than the former: Finnish band Pooma and their debut album, Persuader, and Florida band Kingsbury and their new EP, Lie to Me. While both pieces are captivating, they come at the shoegaze genre from different ends of the spectrum and at different angles of the prism, so to speak.

Pooma’s debut was produced and partly mixed by Gunnar Örn Tynes of the fantastic band Múm, and released in Finland last year. Unfortunately the band’s Finnish record label was closed down very shortly after the release of the album, but you can still buy the entire album from iTunes if you visit their MySpace (link is provided at the end of the post). Persuader unfolds slowly to an intense beat by beginning with If May Starts Tomorrow, a song punctuated by fingers sliding against guitars strings and hypnotic female vocals. The song then crashes into a torrent of sound, thudding and misting around you like a waterfall. This is followed by Snow, which hums with crystalline strings and cymbals until you are buried in the cool aura of its epicentre. With faster rhythms and a more menancing tone, They Won’t Come Back slinks along to a trip-hoppy beat before stripping down halfway through the song into a murmuring, static-filled wormhole; you come out into a fresh second half of the song with tribal rhythms and ethereal vocals. For the next track, Would You, vocals chant “You find it hard to breathe” until you are literally holding your breath in expectation of what happens next in the song; incidentally, it soars into twinkly dreamscapes and builds into an all-encompassing whorl of cloud.

January is a briefer track with subtle cracks of popping vinyl and otherworldly buzzing over simple piano chords; its simplicity is beautiful, and without any vocals, it takes on a brilliant enigmatic quality. Complex layers of sound come back for Through the Calm, which utilizes strings and glockenspiel-like accents to create a dark, undulating atmosphere that takes various unexpected twists and turns between dreamy and threatening; it is like a classical piece heard through an aural kaleidoscope. This blurs right into the title track of the record, a song which builds on the cacophony before disintegrating into a gentle, blissful rivulet of a tune; it takes yet another turn with a build to grandiose proportions with faster drums and dramatic brass. The mood shifts into a more placid one for The Shore, a track that slowly infuses your body like an incense, plying your brain with enchanting vocals. Two minutes before the conclusion of the song, you are woken with scattershot drums and an almost conquistador-like tone. Cool Inside comes down for a heartbeat of a rhythm and shimmers of reverb, an oasis for those sunburned by more abrasive music. The album ends with All Worked Out, the longest song on the record. It takes musicbox-like sounds and layers them over a rich backdrop of cello, creating a magnetic world of small wind storms and aurora borealis.

Kingsbury approaches shoegaze from a different side than Pooma; rather than create textures from shrouded vocals and dramatic symphonic shifts, Kingsbury anchors everything to a plaintive, graceful melodic line and creates a multi-faceted narrative with a rockier edge in the process. You can download the entire EP for free, along with two previous EPs and an album, at their Web site listed below.

EP instrumental opener, Ocarina Mountaintop, is majestic in its slow build of sonic layers with a foundation of piano; it emulates the mystical wistfulness and ancient flavour of the ocarina itself. Vocals come in for Back in the Orange Grove, a track that mimicks mournful wind in laden treetops; metallic knocks and echoes punctuate the ballad like distant thunder, or fists against the walls of a dream. The following track, As I See It, is a delicate tune of guitar arpeggios and hazy, breathy vocals, drifting along like parachutes of dandelion seed.

Bell tones open the next song, Armada, before abrupt pulses and scratches, along with what sounds like thousands of people running moistened fingers around the rims of wine glasses, consume it. The EP’s title track moves into a more ominous tone as the narrator works through conflicting emotions about a lover; electric guitars slide and wail through the piece like pleading hands and eyes. It is a moody track that swings to a pendulum of self-induced hypnosis, trying to convince the self that everything will be okay if only the second person will say so. The EP concludes with Holy War a mesmerizing guitar-based track that weaves a mesmerizing spell as tightly-woven as a crusader’s tapestry; the tension threatens to break every string until it unravels into a sea of feedback at the end.

Pooma’s MySpace: www.myspace.com/poomamusic
Pooma’s Web site: http://www.pooma.net/

Kingsbury’s MySpace: www.myspace.com/kingsbury
Kingsbury Web site: http://kingsburymusic.net/

If May Starts Tomorrow – Pooma

Through the Calm – Pooma

Ocarina Mountaintop – Kingsbury

Holy War – Kingsbury

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Arcade Fire w/ Bell Orchestre + Wolf Parade (2005)

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The only certain thing that is left about me

There is no part of my body that has not been used

Pity or pain, to show displeasure's shame

Everyone I've loved or hated always seems to leave

Photobucket

So I turned myself to face me

But I've never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I'm much too fast to take that test

The Smiths Queen is Dead

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're happy

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Oh, Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day

So let's go where we're wanted

And I meet you at the cemetry gates

Keats and Yeats are on your side

But you lose 'cause weird lover Wilde is on mine

The Clash London Calling

When they kick at your front door

How you gonna come?

With your hands on your head

Or on the trigger of your gun

Photobucket

Charles Windsor, who's at the door

At such an hour, who's at the door

In the back of an old green Cortina

You're on your way to the guillotine

Here the rabble comes

The kind you hoped were dead

They've come to chop, to chop off your head

Photobucket

Then you came with your breezeblocks

Smashing up my face like a bus-stop

You think you're giving

But you're taking my life away

Photobucket

Won't someone give me more fun?

(and the skin flies all around us)

We kiss in his room to a popular tune

Oh, real drowners

Photobucket

Don't walk away

In silence

See the danger

Always danger

Endless talking

Life rebuilding

Don't walk away

Walk in silence

Don't turn away in silence

Your confusion

My illusion

Worn like a mask of self-hate

Confronts and then dies

Don't walk away

Photobucket

You don't want to hurt me

But see how deep the bullet lies

Unaware I'm tearing you asunder

Oh there is thunder in our hearts

Is there so much hate for the ones we love

Tell me we both matter don't we

The Associates Affectionate

I don't know whether

To over or under estimate you

Whether to over or under estimate you

For when I come over

You then put me under

Personal taste is a matter of gender

Photobucket

I wake at dusk to go alone without a light

To the unknown

I want this night inside of me

I want to feel

I want this speeding

I want that speeding

Photobucket

You'll never live like common people

You'll never do what common people do

You'll never fail like common people

You'll never watch your life slide out of view

And dance and drink and screw

Because there's nothing else to do

Vanilla Swingers

All I have is words, words that don't obtain

And I feel I'm a stain on your horizon

So I stay away - it's easier that way

And there won't be no-one I need to rely on

Is it him, is it me

Or is there something only I can see

How did I get here, why do we blow around like straw dogs on the breeze

I'm a special one, what they used to say

But I've to stay on, finish levels-A

You don't need exams when you've read John Gray

The Indelicates American Demo

And nobody ever comes alive

And the journalists clamour round glamour like flies

And boys who should know better grin and get high

With fat men who once met the MC5

And no one discusses what they don't understand

And no one does anything to harm the brand

And this gift is an illusion, this isn't hard

Absolutely anyone can play the fucking guitar

JAMC Darklands

And we tried so hard

And we looked so good

And we lived our lives in black

Photobucket

Plucked her eyebrows on the way

Shaved her leg and then he was a she

She says, hey babe,

Take a walk on the wild side

Said, hey honey, take a walk on the wild side

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Hide on the promenade

Etch a postcard:

How I dearly wish I was not here

In the seaside town...that they forgot to bomb

Come, come, come - nuclear bomb

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Back when we were kids

We would always know when to stop

And now all the good kids are messing up

Nobody has gained or accomplished anything

Wire Pink Flag

Prices have risen since the government fell

Casualties increase as the enemy shell

The climate's unhealthy, flies and rats thrive

And sooner or later the end will arrive

This is your correspondent, running out of tape

Gunfire's increasing, looting, burning, rape

Photobucket

Well, maybe there's a god above

But all I've ever learned from love

Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you

It's not a cry that you hear at night

It's not somebody who's seen the light

It's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah

Photobucket

And what costume shall the poor girl wear

To all tomorrow's parties

For Thursday's child is Sunday's clown

For whom none will go mourning

Photobucket

My body is your body

I won't tell anybody

If you want to use my body

Go for it

Photobucket

Oh it's opening time

Down on Fascination Street

So let's cut the conversation

And get out for a bit

Because I feel it all fading and paling

And I'm begging

To drag you down with me

Mansun Six

And you see, I kind of shivered to conformity

Did you see the way I cowered to authority

You see, my life, it's a series of compromises anyway

It's a sham, and I'm conditioned to accept it all, you see

Japan Gentlemen

Take in the country air, you'll never win

Gentlemen take polaroids

They fall in love, they fall in love

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We just want to emote til we're dead

I know we suffer for fashion

Or whatever

We don't want these days to ever end

We just want to emasculate them forever

Forever, forever

Pretty sirens don't go flat

It's not supposed to happen like that

Longpigs The Sun

There's no perfume I can buy

Make me smell like myself

So I put on perfume

To make me smell like someone else

In bed

Calvin Harris I Created Disco

I got love for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's

I've got hugs for you if you were born in the 80's, the 80's

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Does his makeup in his room

Douse himself with cheap perfume

Eyeholes in a paper bag

Greatest lay I ever had

Kind of guy who mates for life

Gotta help him find a wife

We're a couple, when our bodies double

Simple Minds Sons and Fascination

Summer rains are here

Savaged beauty life

Falling here from grace

Sister feeling call

Cruising land to land

No faith no creed no soul

Half a world away

Beauty sleeps in time

Sound and fury play

Bloc Party Silent Alarm

North to south

Empty

Running on

Bravado

As if to say, as if to say

He doesn't like chocolate

He's born a liar, he'll die a liar

Some things will never be different

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LCD Soundsystem

Well Daft Punk is playing at my house, my house

I've waited 7 years and 15 days

There's every kid for miles at my house, my house

And the neighbors can't...call the police

There's a fist fight brewin' at my house, my house

Because the jocks can't...get in the door

Johnny Boy

I just can't help believing

Though believing sees me cursed

Stars Set Yourself

I am trying to say

What I want to say

Without having to say "I love you"

Josef K Entomology

It took 10 years to realise why the angels start to cry

When you go home down the main

Your happy smile

Your funny name

Cocteau Twins Bluebell

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Doesn't she look a million with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Yes, she's a beautiful brunette angel from heaven with her hairagami set

Hair kisses 'n' hair architecture

Augment a beautiful brunette

New Order Power Corruption

How does it feel

To treat me like you do

When you've laid your hands upon me

And told me who you are

Photobucket

You must let her go

She's not crying

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Baiting

Feeling like I'm waiting

Modern times

Valentines

Hating

Hating to distraction

Just leave them alone

Whipcrack

Girls in the back

Girls in the back

Puressence Don't Forget

They say come back to earth and start getting real, yeah

I say come back to earth and start getting real

I know I can't

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So I walk right up to you

And you walk all over me

And I ask you what you want

And you tell me what you need

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The problem of leisure

What to do for pleasure

Ideal love a new purchase

A market of the senses

Dream of the perfect life

Economic circumstances

The body is good business

Sell out, maintain the interest

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Sitting in my armchair thinking again and again and again

Going round in a circle I can't get out

Then I look around thinking day and night and day

Then you look around - there must be some explanation

And the tension builds

Psychdedelic Furs

India, India

You're my love song

India, you're my love song

In the flowers

You can have me in the flowers

We will dance alone

And live our useless lives

Ladytron Light Magic

They only want you when you're seventeen

When you're twenty-one

You're no fun

They take a polaroid and let you go

Say they'll let you know

Photobucket

No consolation prizes

Spit out your lies and chewing gum

Cut off your hair yeah that's it!

If you look like that I swear I'm gonna love you more

Photobucket

All the neighbors are startin' up a fire

Burning all the old folks, the witches and the liars.

My eyes are covered by the hands of my unborn kids

But my heart keeps watchin' through the skin of my eyelids

Photobucket

Prince charming

Prince charming

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of

Don't you ever, don't you ever

Stop being dandy, showing me you're handsome


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