The members of Asbury Park band Sonic Blume are not yet at the age where they can legally drink in bars and clubs. However don’t let age fool you. They have been studying the giants in the indie/dream pop/shoegaze canon. My Bloody Valentine, The Cure, Slowdive and Beach House among others course through their excellent second EP Beach Karma. It is no surprise they won the 2017-2018 Asbury Music Award for Top Young Band. The band, Max Connery on guitar/synth/vocals, Daniel Murray on drums, Andrew Phelan on bass and Chase Landgrebe on guitar have created a mature, dreamy and infectious record.
I can pinpoint the exact moment I knew this band was something special. It was exactly 38 seconds into opener “Shotgun” that I fell in love with the song. It is at that point early in the tune that the drums and initial guitar meshed with the second guitar while the bass and ethereal vocal finally join the mix. We are in dream pop/shoegaze nirvana within one minute. The band excel at straight up indie pop as well especially with “Sunflower Bean” which channels Wish-era Cure with some excellent guitar work at a frenetic pace. The song is as sunny as its title suggests and is pure bliss.
“Palms” is an upbeat song which sounds like Peter Bjorn and John meet MGMT with the synths being a clear highlight and “All Things You Say” is jangly dream pop at its best. Closer “In the Sun” clocks in at almost seven minutes and takes its time to build over synth and drums into a lush soundscape of everything this band does right including guitar interplay and sublime vocals. The record ends on a rolling wave of synth which seems just about the perfect way to end it.
Beach Karma, out now on MOTO Records, was produced by Erik Kase Romero and the sound is fantastic. Each song is separated by short pieces of experimental sounds (Door 1-4) to let you catch your breath. I cannot recommend this EP enough.
You can catch Sonic Blume November 16th at the Asbury Park Yacht Club for the 2nd Annual Makin Waves Hunger Benefit for Food For Thought and December 22nd at the House of Independents in Asbury Park for The Happy Fits Holiday Show.
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