The Stargazer Lilies is an ambient rock band from Pennsylvania looking to make their big debut. Kim Field and John Cep (of shoegaze band Soundpool) alongside Johnny Lancia and EJ DeCoske, have essentially created a bare bones album, focusing on what really make their music great and leaving it at that. Backed by Tobacco of Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Stargazer Lilies are set to make a pretty big splash with their big release.
We Are The Dreamers is a solid example of what “texture” means. Every song is layer after layer of vocals and instrument, shown off in a spacey, and slow paced format. As each melody is fed through your speakers, you find yourself slowly wrapped in a blanket of harmony. All of the sounds blend together to create a final piece. The Stargazer Lilies display this talent particularly well in their song, “How We Lost.” The rhythmic drum sounds off while a deep, humming bass adds a certain ambiance. The soaring vocals further create an incredible sound. When the song finishes, you are left feeling like you were teleported to another dimension if just for a brief few minutes. The band follows this format for much of the album as well. Each track is a series of melodies that form one, almost otherworldly experience.
Unfortunately, The Stargazer Lilies seemingly mess everything up, by doing everything right. In most ambient albums, you are left with songs that seem to go on forever with no real dynamic. It’ll be the same droning tones for ten minutes at a time. If you’re into that, fine, but most people like at least a little more substance. This is where Stargazer Lilies did things right; their music is more than just the sound of a refrigerator humming in the background. There’s actual melodies, harmonies, and texture. Better yet, they keep each song relatively short as not to let things get stale. So how is this bad? Remember those old compilation album commercials that featured a ten second clip of various songs? Imagine taking that ten second clip, and stretching it out for three minutes. Obviously the songs do change a bit, but there’s never a single phrase that really feels fresh. The entirety of We Are The Dreamers feels like a slow motion, deja vu nightmare.
On the bright side, sometimes The Stargazer Lilies seem to know exactly what to do. For instance, the solo in “Undone” is closer to a dream come true. It’s a much needed dash of psychedelic influence. Again, the band hits that sweet spot in the seventh track, “Light of Day.” A far huskier sound manifests itself, and rather than the dreamy, higher pitched voices you’ve grown used to, you get something a little different. Towards the end of the song, things get a little more involved again and the guitar makes another solo appearance. The Stargazer Lilies really seem to shine most when they put more focus on instrumentation.
The Stargazer Lilies have taken the ambient genre and repackaged it. What usually ends up being long, patience-testing build ups has been turned into a no nonsense reiteration. Don’t be shy, give We Are The Dreamers a listen. Ambient fan or not, the album is accessible enough, yet still well composed enough to be enjoyed by everyone.