MP3: Celestial Shore – “Xtra Life”

celestial shore, shopping spree

Brooklyn-based digital label Prison Art Tapes released an enjoyable lo-fi pop split fromĀ Celestial Shore and Shopping Spree, both fans of concise yet expressive “avant-pop”. Shopping Spree play more on swirling psychedelia, through clumsy synth bleeps and choppy percussion that help guide varying vocal layers — many of them cartoonish and exaggerated in pitch, similar to Super Furry Animals and Ariel Pink’s barest works. “Eye Bridges” shows their halted approach, where trickling minimalist guitars abruptly transition to bursts of noise and vocal harmonizing. Celestial Shore, while abiding to a similar psych-pop scope, are more polished in their approach. The superb “Xtra Life” plays with contrasting vocal harmonies as well, though more dependent on squiggly guitar fixtures than bleeping synth effects. The percussion is much more precise as well, placing it more firmly within the lo-fi psych-rock of Unicorns or Real Estate. The short bursts of excitement throughout the release resemble a punk album in delivery, but the sounds are much more rooted in bedroom psychedelia. You would never have guessed that Celestial Shore recorded their half onĀ 8-track tape.

Bandcamp / Prison Art Tapes / Facebook

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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