Glaare are one of a handful of indie dark wave bands emanating from the States that produce spellbinding soundscapes celebrating the legacy of the Chameleons, Joy Division and Siouxsie Sioux to name but three. These include Soft Kill and Second Still who all seem to know each other and even play in each others bands. Indeed, Ryan Walker from Second Still played guitar for The Chameleons Vox when they toured the States last year and Soft Kill supported the same band in the UK in 2017. Such synchronicity is underpinned by both the coolest attitude to being in a band and exceptional releases where the music, artwork and overall production is treasured.
Glaare’s To Deaf and Day album typifies the mind-set as it is both audibly and visually an artefact of striking beauty. The opening track, My Love Grows in Darkness, is a swirling combination of rolling drums patterns, restrained synths, glorious guitar riffs and heavily-reverbed female vocals that weave in and out of the track as if from a distance. Words alone could never do justice to the utter brilliance of this song especially during the frenzied chorus line of “I just wanna let go…”
With the default standard set, songs such as First Rain, Like They Do, Isky and Surrender/Control also transfix, but it is actually impossible to fault any of the albums ten tracks. At times, Rachel Pierce’s soaring voice reminds me of Liz Frazer that is high praise indeed, but Glaare are anything but copyists. Mysterious, magical and meandering, the album really does get into your head and evokes a blissful state of mind to the point where I find myself dancing around the flat much to the disbelief of my teenage daughters.
The sleeve artwork has been lovingly produced with the most delicate of embossing and even the label design is symptomatic of the love that has inspired the project. Huge respect to the Dune Altar label for embracing such attention to detail and supporting a totally brilliant body of work that I hope will attract wider attention as the year evolves. Immaculate.