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GAZEY Sole gets 7/10


Gazey
Sole
Group Therapy

7/10 

For their debut album Sole, Gazey have managed to create an LP diverse enough to satisfy a variety of moods and movements. With songs dancing between 80s disco beats, 90s garage rock, shoegazey madness, psychedelic alt rock and art-pop, the genres this five piece traverse and even weave into single tracks is astounding. Sole is an album about lonely souls, individuality and isolation, completely hand-stitched by Gazey themselves. It’s a joy and a journey to listen to.

Sole kicks off with a taste of nostalgia. Bees has tearing garage rock riffs that spin into distorted fuzzy guitars. Then the guitar breaks off and slips of crystal-tone synths cut through. It feels like they’re trying to do so much with this track yet it is it all meshes flawlessly.

The slow, lo-fi movement of Moon is reflective, with an atmosphere of vague sadness formed through the soft, gravelly vocals of Ezekial and Josiah Padmanbham. The aura is woven through layers of synths, supple drums from Ezra Padmanabham and shifting tambourine, producing a sonorous, fuzz-filled track. Moon proves this band’s commitment to making their music a sensory experience.

Incongruous with its name, Sleep is a song that starts off with a pulsing bang and makes sleep the last thing on your mind. Coalescing art-pop with sturdy 80s drum beats and arpeggiated retro synth waves, Gazey have created the perfect soundtrack to an 80s video game. Their lyrics provide a little wisdom for us too: “You got to help yourself/ You’ve got to break the rules,” and add to the plush landscape of the track. Not to mention Sleep is accompanied by a mind-field of a video clip directed by Brendan Doherty, and has unsurprisingly been nominated for Best Music Video in WAM Awards this year.

Gazey’s impressive hands-on approach to recording this album has provided the tracks with a veracity that’s hard not to love. Their complete control over their sound brings a sincerity, and this can be particularly felt on Society. The song seems to navigate a period of emotional turmoil with its blending of styles and instruments. Society is an honest consideration of contemporary love, starting off with the ring of shoegaze-y guitars and amply reverbed vocals. The added sounds of triangle, claves and more on top of their established sound provides a tender, self-reflective mood for this modern love song.

River is similar to Sleep, with running bass and a sprinkled cacophony of electronic beats. Pillars has a spirited, wide and dreamy sound, each element of the song getting lost within the other in a hypnotic simplicity. This song in particular matches their self-described aesthetic of ‘hypnagogic pop’, due to the sustained ringing of the cymbals and tambourine which gives it a more ethereal and faraway feeling.

A grungier cousin to the rest of the album is Picture, with a springy, sorrowful guitar from guitarist Ryan Thomas. The lyrics relate the feeling of being emotionally isolated from yourself, not just physically isolated from others.

Closing track Alps blends eeriness with a psychedelic alt-rock tune reminiscent of TV on the Radio. A chorus of poeticisms including “Prehistoric phallic/ Blood rust on the places you lay/ Bleeding from my concrete graze” lifts the track, and once again the variety within the album strikes. Considering the varied styles from Picture to Alps, at times it feels like a patchwork quilt of different projects, however the themes and tones entwining the tracks hold it together.

EMMA PEET

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