Snowblink is a group from Toronto, who are currently touring with Owen Pallet. I find this completely appropriate due to how similar stylistically the two artists/groups are. Snowblink features beautiful vocals layered over instrumentation that is half ambient and half cinematic. Daniela Gesundheit’s vocal is really darn impressive, and her voice is warm and sweet, which is rare. “Rut & Nuzzle” is a comforting track, and gets better the more you get to know it. The usage of sound effects is interesting, but after a few listens it falls into its place and starts adding to the atmosphere that the song produces.
Duos often sound like they are lacking some necessary element of their sound, but this isn’t a problem at all for Washington’s dimples. The simplicity accents their dry songs perfectly. Ian Judd’s vocals are calming but also indifferent. The group’s usage of harmonies is very rudimentary, but this just further adds to the unadorned vibe that dimples produce. “Top Ten” is a very simple two minute track that is extremely fun. The drum tone, while being parched, is extremely powerful and acts as a backbone for the track. The mundane vocal melody manages to be absorbing, and the guitar track sits perfectly in the middle of the mix. “Top Ten” has a striking resemblance to Times New Viking, but this is in no way a bad thing. Everything about dimples is charming and enjoyable, and hopefully more from them will become available soon.
The Vaccines have a very produced sound. Their website is: http://thevaccines.co.uk/ which looks very professional but still feels whimsical. In many ways, this encapsulates how The Islander feels about the group. They appear to be naive and inspired, yet they are extremely polished. The highlight of their debut single is “Blow It Up”, which starts off very noisily, but turns into a fun pop song that is enjoyable. The only minor issue with this song is that it doesn’t have a particularly strong point of view, but despite this it is absolutely worth a listen or two.
Purling Hiss is a group from Philadelphia, who (according to their Myspace) is a recent addition to the Woodsist roster, which in and of itself is an impressive feat. Their sound lies somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and The MC5. As off-putting and overwhelming noisy as that sounds, Purling Hiss takes the two ideas and reconciles them in a super pleasing manner. “Run From This City” is sort of half jam and half drone. The track has a rather abrupt start, which is a full band playing with a guitar riffing on top of it. The rhythm guitar is extremely simple, which enable the other parts to play around. The vocals are brilliantly mixed behind the rhythm guitar, which gives the song a very Stooges(y) feel. The guitar part that opens the song turns out being the chorus and while this sounds odd, it totally works. The drum sound is one of the best that The Islander has heard in a while, and putting it a bit higher up in the mix would have done it justice. The last three minutes of the song are an instrumental, and while the vocals are part of the song’s charm,h they aren’t really missed.