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.
Dissolver is released by Monotreme on April 21.
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