Influenced by acts as diverse as Ariel Pink, Lana Del Rey and Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Gloomies are set to released sophomore record ‘Are We Getting Better?’ on 6 March. The band were formed by Southern California resident Andy Craig and have received praise from so many indie music outlets over the past five years.
The album opens appropriately enough with an ‘Intro’. This track has a distorted, noisy opening that makes way for what sounds like an M83 album track with a bit of ‘Digital Ash’-era Bright Eyes thrown in for good measure. ‘Moonlight’ follows this with talk of ‘strange visions’ and ‘diamonds hanging from their eyelids’. Fragile and fractured, it then moves on to visceral descriptions of ‘strange visions dancing in the ocean now’ that will ‘drown you in the dak for fun’. ‘DNTGTBTTR’ combines dream pop with hints of electronica and plenty of nostalgia: ‘I miss the way that we both felt when we were young. Magic everywhere, screaming in your ear’.
‘Nightlight’ has DIY vibes and discussion of ‘summer days that recall (Sandy) Alex G while ‘Sunflower Pollen’ has an altogether more sparse introduction that is soon swooped up in synths. There’s a raw emotion in Andy’s voice as he begs ‘baby don’t’. This poignancy continues through to ‘Mess We Made’, a powerful song that reminded us of Echo & the Bunnymen or Daniel Johnston: ‘There’s a draught here where the fire once burned out’. The penultimate ‘Calm Now’ is full of far-reaching soundscapes and a defining statement: ‘Go kick the door down and find me when you know’. There’s an air of melancholy sadness as Andy then claims ‘nothing’s any better, nothing ever helped’.
With piercing observations throughout and a penchant for goosebump-inducing melodies, The Gloomies’ new album is enlightening.