Album Review – Stumbleine featuring Violet Skies

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Stumbleine featuring Violet Skies -‘Dissolver.’ (Monotreme)

Stumbleine’s debut album Spidderwebbed was a delicious mix of shoegazing and electronica when it appeared eighteen months ago. That was an album that was pretty easy to fall in love with. It was then announced that Stumbleine was collaborating with a singer called Violet Skies. Their first release together was this February’s 5-track EP Chasing Honeybees. That EP took a while to grow on me, but eventually it worked its charms on me.

None of the tracks from that EP appear on Dissolver, and while that means that this LP stands alone in its own right, I’ve given this several listens and somehow failed to connect with it. It’s not to say that it’s an bad record, because it isn’t, and there’s some nice enough bits like ‘Whirlpool’ which has been doing the rounds.

However, over the course of the ten tracks here, it just doesn’t make for a terribly convincing whole. Violet Skies’ voice is pleasant enough if not astonishing, and Stumbleine’s production as a whole is still pretty impressive. But when we know that Stumbleine is capable of producing something really special, it just seems to fall short.

**1/2

Dissolver is released by Monotreme on April 21.

EP review: Stumbleine featuring Violet Skies

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Stumbleine featuring Violet Skies -‘Chasing Honeybees EP’ (Monotreme)

Following on from his rather fine debut album Spiderwebbed, UK producer Stumbeleine has teamed up to collaborate with Welsh singer-songwriter Violet Skies.

Ahead of their April album Dissolver, they have released this five track EP. I must confess that when I first heard it back at the end of last year I wasn’t all that keen. However, going back to it a couple of months later, it’s grown on me a bit.

I think perhaps part of the problem was that I found second track ‘Just Tell Me’ a bit dull, and at first ‘The Moonlight Flood’ seemed a bit too much like Leona Lewis’ ‘Bleeding Love’ to stand on its own merits. But the latter track improves on repeated plays. Added to which, opener ‘Clip My Wings’ and closer ‘Caroline’ are pretty good.

However, the highlight on this EP is the cover of ‘And Then He Kissed Me.’ It’s sometimes not really understood how much of an influence the Phil Spector songbook and wall of sound had on not only on girl groups but also on punk, indie (especially the c-86 variety) and shoegazing. If you’re not familiar with Stumbleine’s sound, it is 1 part shoegaze to 1 part electronica and with the vocal here, it’s a cocktail that shows up what a great reworking it is of a song that is now fifty years old.

Oh, and none of the tracks on this album are on the forthcoming album.

***

Chasing Honeybees is released by Monotreme on February 10.

Stream and download ‘Clip My Wings’ from the EP here

Check out Stumbleine’s bandcamp here

Album Review: Stumbleine

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Stumbleine -‘Spiderwebbed’ (Monotreme)

This is the debut album from Bristol producer Stumbleine, who also records as one third of dubsteppers Swarms. There’s a glorious mixture of dubstep, hypnagogic pop and chillout here Рthe RIYL of the Cocteau Twins, Burial and Neon Indian is pretty accurate.

Having been enjoying this album since it arrived, I’ve been pretty impressed by the different strands I hear within. Sure, it’s chillout -yet there’s also hints of shoegazing, a melancholia that’s worthy of the cream of the scottish indie scene…and yet it is also a very warm album, making succumbing to its charms pretty easy.

Amongst the tracks to do the rounds from this album ahead of release are the rather fine cover of Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You’ (which is a fine reworking of the original) and the single ‘The Beat My Heart Skips.’ A perfect soundtrack to these sad autumn evenings…

****

Spiderwebbed is released on Monotreme on November 19.

Stream the entire album:

Presenting…Stumbleine

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I’m in a very privileged position as author of this blog that I get sent a lot of music, quite often ahead of release.

One of the finest things to drop onto the matt at 17 Seconds Towers in a long while is the forthcoming debut album from Bristol producer Stumbleine, who also records as one third of dubsteppers Swarms. There’s a glorious mixture of dubstep, hypnagogic pop and chillout here – the RIYL of the Cocteau Twins, Burial and Neon Indian is right on the money.

The debut album is called Spiderwebbed and it’s rather ace, and it hits the shops on November 19.

In the meantime, there are a number of tracks that you can stream and download for free that give you an idea of how good this album is. ‘The Beat My Heart Skips’ is released as a single on October 22, but you can download the single for free now.

Here’s another track from the album, entitled ‘Capulet.’

Not only that BUT Stumbleine is also responsible for a rather fine cover of Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You.’ Originally on their 1993 album So Tonight That I Might See, Stumbleine’s remake pays homage to the orginal and reworks it in his own style, with vocals from Steffaloo.