When I began writing about Gleemers back in January (this post was saved on my phone for quite some time), I had just stumbled across their discography on soundcloud. A promising band who’s previous releases had left a hunger deep inside me, making it imperious for me to discover more, Gleemer’s immediacy was unlike anything I’d found for quite some time.
With the attention grabbing value of Smith Westerns, The War On Drugs and Black English (NO), it’s astonishing that Gleemer aren’t already a household name. The Colorado band’s reconstructed pop motifs, which rise to the stature of Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins, feel more like cinematic backdrops, perfectly capturing a lifetimes worth of iconic moments in each of their tracks.
On their January release, the album art draws similarity to a number of indie/self-discovery films, which focus upon the rise of virtual nobody’s who interpellate with every skinny jean wearing viewer going. Minus the cliché demographic of the ‘indie’ scene, Gleemer have a clearly set narrative in their songs, that deter none from feeling connected, on however small of an emotional scale.
Beginning with the illustrious Working Out, a tale of self-destructive love, Gleemer’s poetic story telling unfolds. An elaborate three minutes kick off No Goodbye’s indie, summer ‘love’ story, in the most simplistic stance imaginable:
I’m not working out for you now, you’re not losing, I might spill out/and I was so unprepared when you loved me instead of them.
Transitions from a repeating, opening riff to a series of power chords, followed by shimmering guitar chimes, provides Working Out with a rigid anchor, that makes way for an unprecedented level of attention to the self-thwarted story told within Working Out’s lyrics.
On following track Shoulder Pads, a structure of grand power chords, empty acoustics and a level of attention to their lyrics is a amplified even further, becoming a constant throughout the entirety of No Goodbyes, with lines such as:
I wish my dad would stop drinking.
I wish my friends would stop thinking about
all the reasons I stay home now. – ‘Shoulder Pads’
So, I called your dad a liar,
and pulled him out from under my tires – ‘Party Girls’
No Goodbyes layers itself behind a fog of glitter filled, pop hooks, set on the backdrop of melancholic living, perfectly disguising it’s own true darkness into something light, dramatic and exciting. The number one source of this is the shining star of No Goodbyes, the truly astounding, Party Girls.
Attempting to describe Party Girls is near impossible (for me at least), as the range of emotions that are brought out and sent to assault you are unparalleled. The only band that draw close, with a shared deep emotional intensity in their tracks, would be the now, no more, WU-LYF.
Party Girls’ construction is simple. Slowly rising from a fairly common drum beat, Party Girls’ leaks out with swoons that draw near to their end. In the process of a break before the chorus which amplifies the quiet intensity from early on in the song, the latter end then explodes in a glorious display of musical imagery, where goosebumps grow goosebumps as Gleemer not only provide the perfect penultimate track to this glorious EP, but possibly to this entire year.
As all good things do, No Goodbyes does eventually draw to an end, with the gorgeous, DIY sound of Cooler. Two minutes of baron acoustics, dripping rain, and Corey’s raspy vocals (we think it’s Corey anyway), guide No Goodbyes to it’s happy ending, even if this happy ending is still stuck in the bathroom in a deep depression.
So, while Lea Porcelain’s EP was captivating in a completely different light (I mean I gave them a 10), Gleemer’s cinematic presence on No Goodbyes was so undervalued and unheard, it truly shocked me to see Gleemer receive virtual no press this entire year, especially for such an indescribable record.
You may question how it can be indescribable when that is in fact, the whole point of a review. No Goodbyes, falls of the face of the Earth in relation to description. It feels almost unfair to attempt to describe this EP, as words truly can not attach themselves onto how emotive this EP truly is. This EP has guided me through all of 2015, through my highs and extreme lows. I’m eternally grateful for this EP, so it goes without question, that No Goodbyes is Velvet’s #1, for 2015.