Do you find yourself listening to dreamy, shoegazey, indie music late at night? Ever spend an afternoon scouring the record shop to complete your twee pop backlog? Ever just wish there was something new to fill that soft void? If so, I have great news –Christmas has come early.
Gingerlys is a band from Brooklyn with a healthy blend of indie and dream pop influence –it’s wonderfully warm with the kind of melodies that deliver a cozy sense of melancholy. Their latest, self-titled album, is music to warm the soul during these cold months.
Gingerlys begins with ambience, atmosphere –air. Synths float around in the ether –before you can check to make sure you didn’t accidentally put on Boards of Canada, the band comes barreling through like they’re late for school. Percussion pounds alongside upper-octave keys. The guitar rips in and the vocals flood through, “Fading into blue; Waves crashing under you.” “Turtledoves” starts the album off just right. Gingerlys’ uniquely indie style is made clear. Their chipper atmosphere is driven by rapid instrumentation. The keys contribute an 80’s nostalgia. It’s an exciting listen — with husky vocals and energetic instrumental lines, Gingerlys is somewhat reminiscent of Los Campesinos’ early years.
The tracks transition and “Playgrounds,” takes over. The band starts with some crisp guitar and builds each layer of texture with more intensity. Gingerlys is surprisingly fast at times, but the vocals seemingly lull along. The contrast is beautiful and makes the song flow perfectly. As the track begins to tire out, the band includes a surprising guitar solo. It’s nothing flashy but a nice touch nonetheless.
This isn’t Gingerlys’ first rodeo, but a self-titled album is sort of a big deal; it’s a way for a band to make a debut, to really find their niche. While I have an urge to call Gingerlys a twee band, I don’t think that sounding vaguely like Another Sunny Day is enough to designate a genre. Gingerlys employs so much more into their music. Breaking from my knee-jerk reaction, “Elsewhere,” placed itself in the dream pop genre –reminding me of artists like Asobi Seksu. On the other hand, the moodiness of “Let Down,” paired with some choice key-chords, makes for more of a throwback –capturing an 80’s/90’s atmosphere.
Some of the album’s later tracks are particularly memorable –for better and worse. “Mermaids,” is probably the worst sleeper I could have asked for. The track builds so much, it has all the right makings. Subtle drums, careful instrumentation, and soft vocals are broken horribly by a chorus that sounds misplaced. On the other hand, “Purple Sunshine,” is more mixed. The track begins with a nod to surf rock. The guitar gets deep and sets the mood just right. The chorus is a bit of a let-down, with nonsense syllables. Gingerlys tosses one final element to the track –a little psychedelic jam break. It’s muddied but still decent. The closing track, “New Toys,” is probably a favorite –with a whistle-sounded keyboard adding the perfect ambience. The band comes together for a perfect finish.
I’m a sucker for Gingerlys. At times, the vocals are reminiscent of Trish Keenan –the instrumentation is far more boisterous however; the percussion crashes, the guitars serpentine around one another, and the keys add an extra thick layer of depth. I’d like to just call it some doe-eyed, indie music–but there’s just so much more going on. From the solo and soaring vocals of track two, “Playgrounds,” to the rush of “Incandescent,” and psychedelic hints during, “Purple Sunshine,” Gingerlys crafted each song into its own, nuanced piece. —Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to declare Gingerlys the next great indie group –but the elbow grease was well worth it. The album is wonderfully diverse while remaining convincing and seamless. For all you indie rockers and shoegazers, dream pop fans, and 80’s pop fans –give yourself the half-hour to check out Gingerlys. It’ll give you something to be thankful for.