StillWaves – ‘Undiagnosed’

Toronto-based band StillWaves deliver a captivating sound on their new album, Undiagnosed, with reveberating post-punk soundscapes and delectably moody structural turns. The release especially showcases the guitar work of the late Eric Pentz, resonating with atmospheric post-punk nostalgia in its jangly melodics and synth-laden infusions. Themes of personal struggle compel, delving into divorce and break-ups, lack of control, and waning friendships.

“It Still Burns” is a fantastic opener, generating ample momentum with its thumping bass, atmospheric guitar tones, and driving synth momentum. A crisp, jangly guitar presence injects an excitable fervency at the one-minute turn, as an emotive vocal lead seamlessly enters. The track’s quick yet effective shift from electro-minded ardency into a post-punk/new-wave dose of rock nostalgia is exemplary of StillWaves’ dynamic eclectic hold, on display alongside a grippingly melodic appeal.

Highlights are numerous throughout the album. “I’m Haunted” compels in the more patiently unveiling spectrum, moving with sludgy guitar moodiness and foreboding vocal pleasures. Elsewhere, “Scars Lie Below” showcases the project’s stellar synth incorporations, crafting an atmospherically nocturnal appeal alongside guitars. A gorgeously dreamy bridge is especially notable around the 02:30 mark. “Redlines” concludes the album with satiating effect, contrasting flickering guitar jangles with mellow vocals and brooding bass. Undiagnosed shows an abundance of quality songwriting and stylish production from StillWaves.

“It Still Burns” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Emerging Singles’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

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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