SHIMMERANCE – SHIMMERANCE (SELF-RELEASED, 2020)

Shimmerance is a Moscow, Russia based Shoegaze band that plays a heavy textural Shoegaze like they have something to prove. Marrying classic shoegaze production that pairs towering walls of effect-laden guitars against melodies that form a through-line connecting their Shoegaze influences from bands like Swervedriver and My Bloody Valentine to permeations found in the massive volume attack of Smashing Pumpkins and the inherent tunefulness of Dinosaur Jr. Shimmerance, however, captures a sound that exists outside of their forbearers and influences – there’s an intensity that runs through the entire record. A scrappy, hungry desire to consume everything not yet sound by riff after pummeling riff, upward and ascending overdriven effects that pull off a perfect balancing act between overwhelming noise and a sweetness at the center of all of the reverb and delay. Without belaboring an adjective –  the band is able to achieve a sound that shimmers at the near edges of its sound – a place where the sound frays a bit at the edges and lets out a bit of the light that illuminates these tracks from within.

Formed in 2016 in Moscow by two longtime friends, Shimmerance has taken a couple of years and line up changes to fully realize their sound. This self-titled record feels like a bit of an arrival for the band. A call back to classic shoegaze sounds on tracks like “Skyscraper” are updated garnering positive comparisons to modern shoegaze bands like Blankenberge with elements of overdrive and pitchshifting sound found in the best A Place to Bury Strangers songs. Maria Kondakova’s airy vocals soar above the swirling guitars and steady bass line. Instead of being used as another instrument as found in so many Shoegaze compositions, Kondakova’s lyrics and voice ring out with clarity while still maintaining much of the distance from the listener – sounding if it is resonating from some giant, acoustically rich cathedral. Shimmerance’s self-titled record ends on a masterful cover of Kavinsky’s “Nightcall”. A nocturnal track that is rooted to the earth by heavy leaden shoes.

Shimmerance update Shoegaze while paying careful reverence to its forbearers and tradition. A truly inspiring record.

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