Kid With A Vinyl - "Favorite Albums (and EP's) of 2020
In my review for Spirit Goth's blog, I described Shimmertraps' stunning sophomore album as something akin to a performance art piece, a full body deep dive into color and texture. The Washington based quartet recorded LOOK!'s glitchy, multi-dimensional synth pop contents entirely in the house they all share, explaining that the strength in their sound initially comes from this sense of compositional collaboration, and ultimately from the glossy, crystal clear production. The amount of passion and dedication Shimmertraps have placed into LOOK! allows it to never really feel like a mere indulgence on the listeners part, nor something purely transitory, meant for instant gratification. Rather, it feels like an invigorating shock to the senses, inspiration to keep moving, thinking, creating - to view the ever-changing world through an equally kaleidoscopic lens.
On repeat: "Jules Quesnel," "Lilac," "Shutter View"
Post Trash - Shimmertraps - "Atrium" Post Trash Premiere
by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
Earlier this summer saw the release of Look!, the sophomore album from Seattle’s Shimmertraps. Released via Spirit Goth Records (Half Stack, Castlebeat, Vansire), the album two years in the making made a refined splash between the realms of dream pop, shoegaze, and lo-fi psych. It sounds like a bummed out bedroom disco party, like a squeaky clean Helvetia making radio-friendly pop songs for another planet. It’s nearly four months later and the quartet return with a new single, “Atrium,” out October 30th once again in conjunction with Spirit Goth.
“Atrium” expands upon the silky space-age pop of Look!, bouncing with a soft groove and synths that feel washed in time. Led by a liquid bassline and enough layered melodic haze to drift right into the clouds, the tempo shifts and the chords warble, giving everything just the right touch of surrealism to balance the otherwise pure pop core of the songwriting’s vocal presence. Stay tuned to the band’s socials for the music video, due out on Halloween, October 31st.
Pure Nowhere - Shimmertraps Open a New, Psychedelic Chapter with "LOOK!"
by Emily Brower
Shimmertraps, the Washington based Lo-Fi dream pop band have been making their name in the music scene since their debut album “Ozius” in 2017. The group - consisting of Brodie Cole (synth, vocals and guitar), Zack Moses (vocals and drums), Kyle Menne (Bass), Ian MacPhee (guitar), and Justin Klipping (synth) - have spent the past two years mixing, recording, and producing their upcoming album “LOOK!” from their Bellingham living room. In addition to this, the group has newly signed with DIY label Spirit Goth Records in wake of the upcoming release.
Over an email interview, the band explain that: “The process for this album in particular was very different from our previous work, because we tried to make it as collaborative as we possibly could. We really wanted to focus on production and being a lot more ‘forward’ in areas than we have been before like with the vocals and the drums. We also held an open hand when it came to putting new genre and style ideas on the table.” 
Shimmertraps' dynamic and sound has continued to evolve since their first album, and this is due in part to adding two new members, as well member Brodie Cole joining the songwriting process and focusing more on music theory. These changes encouraged the fusing of disco-focused rhythms with cosmic synth, and the group continues to experiment with this blending of genre by leaning more towards danceable grooves and pop ideals. 
This advancement in sound is evident in their single, “Plume,” with their newly released music video being inspired by this evolving dynamic. The music video is entirely animated, and the band explained that the inspiration for this style of video arose after seeing Micah Buzan’s work for Nick Hakim's Roller Skates.
“Knowing that ‘LOOK!’ was conceptually about indulging in pleasant distractions, Micah seemed like a perfect fit for a chaotic and visually pleasing abstract video.” The culmination of trippy graphics juxtapose the calming energy of “Plume” in a way that makes you want to just sway along and get lost in the captivating rhythm. The lyrics, “Cast a glow / Overhead / Piece by piece / We peel apart,” hold onto a feeling of lovesick nostalgia and you’re transported to another world as you stare into the vibrant colors and designs on your screen. 
On their songwriting style for this record, Shimmertraps describe the process as focused on building the songs rhythmically, before fully placing everything together. “Over the course of this record, a lot of the tones, synth sounds, and production was determined before even fully mapping out all the parts,” they say, reflecting their focus on production in this record.
“I think the end result is really just a product of us finally being comfortable. Being brutally honest with each other when we like or dislike something, and building off of it quickly.”
The music video for “Plume” is just the beginning for this new era of Shimmertraps and you can expect much more coming from them in the future. Their collective effort and honesty with each other's artistic visions is refreshing and has allowed their unique talents to mature. 
“I think the end result is really just a product of us finally being comfortable. Being brutally honest with each other when we like or dislike something, and building off of it quickly.” 
Look Up Records - Review: "All We Are Is So Close" By Shimmertraps
by Luke Culbertson
“All We Are Is So Close” is a nostalgic groovy reverb trip that takes you on a nocturnal drive down a summer highway into the unknown. Drawing an immediate comparison to DIIV, the dreamy sounds of this cut ebb and flow, bursting into colorful, washed out moments you’ll want to put on repeat. 
Bellingham-based 5-piece Shimmertraps starts “All We Are Is So Close” with haunting reverb-drenched vocal “oohs,” tight drums, and a moving bass line that locks in the groove immediately with an impressive melodic flair. Throughout the track, wide filtered pads add atmosphere as lightly gritty electric guitars skitter and jump with the beat, while the relaxed lead vocals cascade with delay and slight distortion to add a hazy lo fi depth.
At the 2:00 mark, the song explodes into the first chorus with tight, crunchy rhythm guitar, with the bass still providing colorful melodic touches, as the lead vocals give their most catchy delivery yet, drenched in a huge wave of reverb.
While the wavy psych pop instrumentation shimmers and shines, the lyricist seems to be exploring their own wavy ins and outs: a complicated relationship with an uncertain demise. Feeling dizzy and confused, they admit:
“Lately I find
While your head winds
Mine aches”
Later in the song, after recalling the depth of knowing the other person so intimately, (“we’re so close, we’re so close”) they express a feeling of acceptance of the relationship slipping through the cracks, with a matter-of-fact, nonchalant delivery:
“You and I fade,
but it’s all the same,
and you wouldn’t know”
What the vocals might lack in passion, the instrumentation makes up for it in spades by carrying the emotional final chorus into a hazy, fade-out finish.
Sometimes relationships can be hazy and can fade out too, but there’s always a new thrill waiting around the corner if you search for it and “All We Are Is So Close” is the perfect soundtrack to finding your way to the next adventure.
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