By now, everyone’s heard of the relatively recent Shoegaze and Dream Pop crazes as concepts, but very few have dove deep into the “Void”, at least as it exists beneath the surface. Deep enough so as to uncover some of the mystic, whimsical yet haunting, ethereal soundscapes being produced at the underground source of these emotionally-driven genres.
It can seem like a difficult exercise. Delving into the independent spaces that coexist alongside us, hoping to discover new musical gems to unearth. But hey – that’s why you come to read blogs and reviews like this one (only this one, right..??), just so that we might be able to help you to do some of that uncovering yourself. Well – today was a day where that digging paid off, thanks to Audrey’s Dance.
Located in Norway, this Six Piece ensemble comes equipped with just as many Genres and Sub-Genres to match, all parts of their glorious make-up. Shoegaze, Dream Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock Band – each have been used to describe the band at one place or another. I would add the term ‘Indie Dream Jazz’ myself, but maybe it’s just best to let the song do the naming!
Starting with the “I” in the title before a single note is played, “I Gave the Void Between Us A Name” is the first phrase of the song. Piano chords instantly help to ground the boldness of the emotional transparency present in the title, while delicate guitar arpeggios and jazz-informed percussive elements sweetly swirl around the carefully constructed narration.
The lyrical story unfolds in two distinct, but similarly structured stanzas – which can be perceived as two verses, two refrains, two choruses. There we go with labels again.. but with phrasing that mimics one another, featuring 5 lines of similar cadence and beat, there is no doubting the brand of the group here. It’s ok. Be direct, be honest. Don’t hide within your own trappings.
At the end of the first stanza where the title is repeated, there is an otherworldly experience to be had. An influx of cascading chimes dance around carefully crafted bass notes and free-flowing drum patterns, steeped in jazzy influence once again. This dizzying blend builds continuously, thanks to an epically placed guitar solo swimming in oceanic waves of reverb, with synthesizer swells and crescendos that maximize the protracted dream state – until finally resting at the 3-minute mark. At 2 and ½ minutes in the middle of the song, this section is bold and beautiful, thick and thoughtful, and takes us breathlessly into the second lyrical pass and stripped down piano outro.
Try – try to give them a genre, label or name if you have to. As good art often does, I much more appreciate that this sound defies definition. Just as we never explicitly hear the name given to the Void in this lyric – maybe we shouldn’t label it either? After all, sometimes the little boxes we try to conveniently put things in, simply can’t contain the grand expanse of our creations.