Shoegazers Branch Out of Complex Melodies

A Sunny Day In Glasgow
Autumn, Again
Self-Released

On paper, A Sunny Day In Glasgow doesn’t sound like a very enjoyable band. Their music tends to eschew conventional song structures and instead consists of barely audible, vaguely connected melodic lines set to hazy beds of buzzing guitar and synthesizers. Meanwhile, the words are basically incomprehensible, and instead of  composing songs, the band releases interconnected musical vignettes. Exhausting, right?

But despite such obstacles, the band manages to consistently create music that is artistically engaging. Last year’s Ashes Grammar consists of 22 sound sketches that develop lush melodies that melt away almost as soon as they begin. Glasgow’s follow-up, Autumn, Again, alters that formula by cleaning up their signature haze to reveal a more pop-friendly sound.

While the album’s subtitle, “Pop Songs 2010,” still isn’t fitting, the songs on Autumn actually sound like, well, songs. The band indulges less in the dreamy jamming that made them so intimidating, choosing to play it straight instead. At times, the band’s new approach works wonderfully  — both “Violet Mary Haunts Me OR Loss of Forgetfulness on Renfrew Street,” a brooding dance-pop track, and “Drink Drank Drunk,” an ecstatic shoegaze jam, represent some of the most accessible, pop-friendly music that A Sunny Day In Glasgow has ever released.

The amount of conventional songs on Autumn, Again will come as a surprise to listeners familiar with the band’s previous releases. Though the change is often pleasant, the band’s increasing preference towards pop structures comes at a definite cost. Part of what made the band so alluring in the past was the ephemeral, collage-like nature of their music. Though these new tracks are good — sometimes great — the band is sacrificing what made them so appealing in the first place. (6/10)

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2505
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal