In the ever evolving search for new music, I sometimes come across releases from all over the world that come straight out of left-field and take me by surprise. One such band have created a blissful, thought-provoking, whirlwind of sound on their three track debut release that is simply immense! Philadelphia-based The Morelings have re-created that late 80’s post-punk and dream-pop-infused shoegaze sound that harks back to old school musical stalwarts such as The Cure, Cocteau Twins, Secret Shine, and For Against with relative ease. With stunning vocal arrangements sitting on top of epic walls of effected guitars, throbbing basslines and solid drums, The Morelings are yet another blissfully brilliant band to emerge from the already amazing underground Philadelphia-based post-punk/shoegazing scene. The band (bassist & vocalist Kedra Caroline, guitarist Matthew William, and percussionist Chris Jordan) released their stunning debut, the EP No Sign, to the masses on January 8th of this year.
No Sign opens with the amazing “Less,” possibly my favourite track on this epic release. This track will have you floating on a wave of sonic goodness from its opening note. What hits you from the off is the band’s ability to take you by the hand and bring you back in time. With a traditional post-punk sound, glistening with beautiful dream-pop hooks, “Less” opens up into a maelstrom of guitars and explodes into an absolutely addictive chorus break. The basslines of this song are intricate, and the drum track keeps the whole show firmly moored to the ground, allowing Kedra’s immense vocals to soar high above the guitars. This is a stunning track, with shoegaze flourishes at the tips of its wings.
The second track, “Too Far,” opens with a haunting guitar line from Matt, and yes, I can hear subtle influences from The Cure, but also an almost Cocteau Twins-like vocal melody, courtesy of Kedra, floats into the mix and takes this track in another direction altogether. Kedra’s vocal arrangements caress your eardrums with their ethereal beauty. This is another stunning track that will have you struggling to stay earthbound. You’ll feel the urge to float with its addictive melody and shoegaze-infused cinematic soundscapes.
The closing track on this stunning debut is the title track itself. This is another shining example of a band in tune with their influences. It’s a polished track that compliments the production on this whole release brilliantly. The guitars are clean, crisp and swirl around the track with aplomb. The bassline alone should be singled out for praise, and the solid drum track keeps this maelstrom of sound grounded throughout. The Morelings have really captivated me with their music. I love how the band taps into their listeners’ subconscious with the vocal arrangements alone — Kedra’s vocals are simply stunning!
Leaving all the post-punk/dream-pop references aside, and it’s probably a contentious influence to mention, the one band that I can hear throughout “No Sign” is Slowdive. There’s early Slowdive all over it, and for me, it’s testament to how good this band is, and how good this release really is as a whole.
Replicant Ears also compliments The Morelings on their outstanding cover art and promotional photo!
DEL CHANEY is a self-confessed music freak and is never far away from a turntable. He divides his time between fronting popular electronic band Analogue Wave and uncovering and actively promoting artists from all over the globe in the shoegaze, dream pop, noise-rock, & post-rock genres with The Primal Music Blog and The Primal Radio Show. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, Del is a keen vinyl collector, tattoo fan, & all round good guy.