Perhaps as a sort of counterweight to the Spotify generation’s general obsession with vapid electronic artists sitting pretty on a bed of weekend-at-Kos synth lines and pure sub-bass, there’s been an upwelling in what I like to call "honest music"; indie bands D-I-Y-ing their way through the swathes of mindless marketables with the music they want to make, however they want to make it. Dad Rocks! do it, Lone Wolf does it, everyone on Tough Love Records does it, and Dortmund-based Shoreline Is definitely do it.
This isn’t to say the bands that fall into this category are trailblazers, experimental champions of sound or any other grandiose term to set them apart from music’s peloton. Rather, the tried-and-tested formulas they put to work are there simply because they’re fun, and sound good. With their sophomore album 'Watch It All Go', Shoreline Is channel everything good about indie and shoegaze from the last decade into their own, unique, effort; shades of Idlewild, White Lies, The Smiths, recent Foals and early Editors can be heard across the nine tracks, but never in enough concentration to distract you from what the album is, who it is by, and how much fun you’re having listening to it.
‘Life’, ‘The Lay’ and ‘Watch It All Go’ amongst others are populated by bright, optimistic synths from a wide repertoire of welcome dreampop sounds, played off against Jannick Frömming’s bulky, honest vocals and surrounded by lush, well-heeled guitar sounds from Julian Prott. ‘Interlude’ is a thoughtful inclusion into the album, an instrumental affair drawing attention to the love with which each instrument is slotted into the other – as always with albums I have admittedly shoehorned into this category, the difference between ‘love’ and ‘attention to detail’ is defined with warmth.
‘A Place To’ brings Sven Riehle’s drumming to the centre, with synth tom chatter, wavering droned keys and a heavily-vibed bass line from Stefan Dierkes swimming around, circling. The final track ‘Keen People’ closes out the album with Marr-esque guitars, unapologetic analog delays and modulated synth warmth fading out to leave you with the comforting idea that music like this is being played, for the fuck of it, always.
Shoreline Is' website