Cathedral Bells — Velvet Spirit (March 6, 2020)
★Ψ★ Album je nádhernou směsicí snových a mlhavých kytar, bicích a zpěvů s kolekcí šumivé elektroniky v popředí. Termín shoegaze může být používán spíše liberálně pro popis kapely jako takové, ale to zapadá přímo do této hudební aleje s mlhavými a vzplanulými vokály a třpytivými syntetizátory. Je to lehké, svěží a zábavné skrz naskrz. Obvykle to kapely dělají přímo pro producenty, takže je to jiný pohled na způsob, jakým se hudba vyrábí. Dá se to rozdělit na dvě fáze — hudební tvorbu a poté mixování a mastering v rukou Briana Cooka. Tyto fáze zde uvádím v původním jazyce (viz dále).
Location: Cassadaga, Florida
Album release: March 6, 2020
Record Label: Good Eye Records
01. Ephemeral 2:40
02. In Absentia 3:20
03. Eighth Wonder of the World 2:42
04. Heavy Rain 3:30
05. Reflection 2:46
06. Disconnected 3:46
07. Lucid 1:00
08. Time Capsule 3:40
09. Cemetery Surf 1:44
10. A Passing Phase 2:59
11. Ethereal Shadow 3:12
★Ψ★ I worked on this album at home in my bedroom. It was recorded in sessions starting in the summer of 2018 through the end of 2019 with a very minimal recording setup. First, I customized the drum samples by detuning the pitch & experimenting with various chain FX. All of the shakers, cymbals, & tambourines were tracked with an AT2020 condenser microphone. A lot of the kick and snare samples were taken from the Roland JD~xi synth. All of the guitars on side B were tracked with a JC~120 (80s model amp). The vocals were tracked with the AT2020 condenser microphone. Lastly I added reverb, delay, and chorus FX using Logic Pro and Reason customized presets.
Phase 2 — Mixing (By Brian Cook):
★Ψ★ Generally I have a different approach for each artist I work with. I felt like my job for the Cathedral Bells songs was to add shading and coloring since the songs were already tracked. For Matt’s sound, I gravitated towards using as much analog outboard gear as possible. Most of the vocals were run through an Alesis MidiVerb II, a Yamaha SPX90, and an ART ProVerb 200. For tone shaping, I used a Warm Audio EQP~WA (Pultec Clone) and a bunch of old, modified, Chameleon Labs 7602 Neve Style EQ/Preamps.
★Ψ★ To give the songs a vintage texture, almost all of the tracks were re~amped into a Vox AC30, a Vox AC15, and/or a Fender Twin.
★Ψ★ For dynamics, I used a Diode Bridge style compressor, a Valley People Dynamite compressor, and a DOD r825. Everything was then mixed using a Mac Pro 5,1 12~Core, running Logic Pro X and a Mackie Universal Control.
JAMES FENNEY | MARCH 14, 2020 | Score: 74%
★Ψ★ Though we’re only a few months into the year I’ve already noticed a recurring trend for albums in 2020: a lack of cohesion. Collections of otherwise good songs that don’t feel connected in any meaningful way. Velvet Spirit is a record that bucks the curve. An album that is greater than the sum of its parts, one that almost feels like a single piece designed to be consumed all in one go.
★Ψ★ If that sounds like a daunting prospect then rest easy as it only clocks in at about half an hour, about as short as an album can be while still being called an album. It’s a record that emphasises quality over quantity, but manages to counteract its brief run~time with its lush and expansive arrangements. With vocals that drift by like some half heard whisper on the wind, melodies as bright and colourful as a field of wild flowers, and a gorgeous hazy atmosphere that permeates the entire record, it’s the kind of album you can just get lost in. Velvet Spirit is a dreamlike fantasy world where time works differently. You could spend what feels like an age soaking in its vibrant soundscapes only to be sucked back to reality to find that only half an hour has passed.
★Ψ★ Though it is best enjoyed as a whole, that does not diminish the strength of the individual tracks. It is a very consistent release with all the filler stripped away. It’s hard to pick out highlights here; granted this is not a record blessed with much variation, but it does mean that each song is a perfect little microcosm of the album as a whole. Each contains the same bright melodies, kaleidoscopic synths, fuzzy psychedelic guitar and propulsive post punk rhythm section in varying concentrations. Each track a portal back into the same dream world that hits you like a cool breeze on a stifling summer’s day. This isn’t a record that reinvents the wheel, it doesn’t push boundaries or do anything new and exciting, and in essence that’s the whole point. Velvet Spirit is a place to retreat to when life gets you down, one that feels safe and familiar. It’s an idyllic sanctuary for dream pop fans; musical escapism at it’s finest. ★Ψ★
Press / Description:
★Ψ★ „An exploration of the smudged reds of The Cure, hazy pinks of Chromatics and gluey browns of DIIV.“ — The Line of Best Fit
★Ψ★ „All watery guitar effects and heavenly vocals, those sighing melodies are endlessly intriguing.“ — Clash Magazine
★Ψ★ As gauzy as it is ‘gazy, Matt Messore’s dream pop project sounds like the Gulf Coast response to SoCal’s Surf Curse and their bedroom pop offshoots.“ — FLOOD Magazine
★Ψ★ They say you can’t go home again, but for Matt Messore it took returning to his hometown of Cassadaga, Florida to discover a new path forward. After traveling across the country and time spent in his former group, Dear Tracks, Messore indulged his DIY bedroom pop leanings working as Cathedral Bells.
★Ψ★ The aptly titled „Homebody“ served as the project’s first offering introducing a sprawling, whirring world of shoegaze/dream~pop atmospheres extending far beyond its humble origins.
★Ψ★ Now, following the release of a debut, self~titled EP at the start of 2019, Cathedral Bells’ first full~length, „Velvet Spirit,“ will see release on vinyl and digitally via Good Eye Records.
★Ψ★ The LP is preceded by several singles including „Cemetery Surf“ and „A Passing Phase“ which drew initial praise from taste~makers including Indie Shuffle who said; „I think Cathedral Bells have struck the perfect balance of throwback synth work, melodic progression and overall shoegazey vibes. The result works in the 80s, the 90s, the naughties and in 2018. And that’s quite good coverage, all things considered.“