Shoegazer pop is widely netted genre of soft, dreamy music. Done well, it is a style of music that can hang around in the mind for a long time. And like other styles of music, shoegazer pop is experimented with to give it signature, a distinction amongst bands.
One of the dreamiest of bands was Love Spirals Downward, with soaring vocals that accented the layers of music that lifted their songs. Love Spirals Downward has since graduated to more defining styles, a shortened name (Love Spirals) and greater diversity. But their older sounds were standard setting and it is heard in the works of Autumn’s Grey Solace.
Their 4th, and latest album, Shades of Grey, incorporate the style of Love Spirals Downward, the shimmering guitars of Cocteau Twins, and a hint of Lycia in some of their tunes (“Last Tear” is a brilliant example). But what separates the band from all of their influences is the vocal power of their female vocalist, Erin Welton. She brings intensity to the band that moves them into a class by themselves and therefore setting new standards for followers.
Shades of Grey provide 11 tracks that wrap around your spine sending currents of dreampop bliss along the nerve paths. There isn’t a song on this album that gets relegated to b-side status, and that’s because every song on this album is of the highest standard – well composed, well produced, and all encompassing. All songs involve relationship issues, whether good, bad, or questionable, they are all excellent for this type of music.
Most notable tracks include “Cold Sea,” which breaks in the middle with a swarm of lead guitar that takes you by surprise given the flow of the song; the Lycia-like “Last Tear,” and the memorable “Hidden” with its beautifully captivating chorus of “…hush, don’t speak, hush don’t say a word…” The album title track is a Cocteau Twins-like tune. Playback St Louis writes, in its review of Autumn’s Grey Solace, that the band comes close to filling the void left by the Cocteau Twins. In all actuality, Autumn’s Grey Solace is every bit as good as the Cocteau Twins were, and I emphasize were. Autumn’s Grey Solace owns that realm now.