07 May 2012

Stumbleine - all for your smile (2011)

Shoegaze, dubstep, chillwave, I still don't know how to classify Stumbleine.

Discovering this EP backwards, after enjoying the "Rose Tinted" EP is everything but not a deception as it just shows the project of this musician from Bristol with just more emphasis on the guitar role. Besides that, the style is already fully present.

Seven songs for 27 minutes, and none of these is dispensable, and the result is as always both surprising and refreshing. A reverberated electric guitars, sampled and processed vocals, a few beats and keyboards sounds, that's all and that's a lot.

There is a certain debt towards the "old" ethereal / shoegaze indie scene but he achieves something truly original. 

One of the tracks, "Aliceband", impresses me immensely, and shows that the central role of Stumbleine is finally a guitar line around which everything is built, from which textures are conceived and emotional tension is achieved. The global effect reminds me how the song "Off your face" by My Bloody Valentine affects and transforms my mood, or how "Love Stepping Out" by Disco Inferno makes me feel I'm at the eve of a bright and blooming sunny day. Priceless. 

There is also "If you", which starts quietly, almost contemplative while slowly turning into a really nice and moving composition. Another wonder is "Light Sleeper", with once again a sublime melancholic guitar line offsetting the atmospheric vocals samples which looks like planes crossing the glowing sky at dusk while you walk down on a forest path.

Last track of the EP, "Wasted Summer" is a seductive dreampop ballad which recalls me of certain indie nuggets by Weevil, Spoonfed Hybrid or Insides. As always, at first Stumbleine seems naive or generic but with time you learn to understand the streams and subtleties which make his music so sensitive.

"Polaroid" seems borrowed from an old Cocteau Twins record with a highly reverberated guitar and atmospheric ethereal vocals. I'm less fond of the two other tracks "Lunar" and "Bloom" but even these are not devoid of charms.

A great debut EP.

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