Welcome Strawberry‘s self-titled debut album is captivating rock display, ranging from roaring shoegaze to lush jangle-pop. The Oakland-based project impress thoroughly with a beautifully layered sound, heavy on psychedelic charm. In addition to shoegaze and indie influences, the album takes noted inspiration from literature (My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Infinite Jest) and film (particularly Gregg Araki’s films) alike.
Exceling in its gorgeous songwriting, the release is abundant with quality. Among them, “You in Your Rare Ugliness” captures the band’s emotional power and dynamic guitar tones. “I feel okay for the first time,” the vulnerable vocals let out, expressing a fear of future ruin. The dreamy guitar twangs and backing jangles complement the understated vocal presence beautifully. A rousing dose of distortion past the two-minute turn adds further depth, exemplifying the band’s knack for cohesive tonal interaction.
Beyond, the haunting acoustical pulse of “Prettier Than You” floats with a phase-friendly psych-pop engrossment. Swelling into a shoegaze-friendly series of guitars, the band’s atmospheric prowess is on full display here. Previously released thunderous rocker “No One Online,” showing shades of Siamese Dream-era Pumpkins, suggested this album would be a great one — and it certainly is.
Welcome Strawberry was mixed by Jorge Elbrecht (Japanese Breakfast, Wild Nothing, Hatchie, Tamaryn, etc) and mastered by Dylan Wall (Craft Spells, High Sunn).
Stream the album:
“Prettier Than You” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of November 2022’ Spotify playlist.
“Your in Your Rare Ugliness” is also featured in the genre-based, best-of Spotify compilation Emerging Indie Rock.