Thursday 3 December 2015

Gold Celeste - The Glow

Article by KevW

If the name Gold Celeste sounds familiar to you - beyond the singles released earlier this year - then you may recall an album of that name being released back in 2013 by Angelica's Elegy. Those who've followed that band since then will be aware that the two are one and the same. The Norwegian trio changed their name and returned with new material this year, culminating in the autumn release of new album (and the debut as Gold Celeste) 'The Glow'. Having been available for a few weeks now, there's been plenty of time to become familiar with these songs and let them sink in. Sometimes your initial view of an album changes over time, with excitement turning to the realisation that perhaps it wasn't all you thought at first, or vice-versa.

'The Glow', it's now safe to say, is a truly wonderful record. Since hearing singles 'Can Of Worms' - a fantastical dreampop number that should have been what The Polyphonic Spree moved on to after their debut album, 'Open Your Eyes' which is similarly magical with a psychedelic side and a memorably cosmic chorus, and the more upbeat psych-pop of 'Is This What You Can Not Do?' with its Flaming Lipsy experimentation and utterly luscious production and arrangement, there was always the indication that the ensuing full-length would be one to remember, and sure enough, that's exactly the case. 'The Glow' isn't short of other single contenders either. 'Time Of Your Life' uses some west-coast harmonies and guitar that is, while not exactly gritty, slightly more cutting to an extent, and 'You And I' has a certain echo of early Pink Floyd, but you could never mistake this as a '60s throwback. Gold Celeste may take parts from previous music scenes and bands, but the end result is unique and modern.

There are more simply arranged tracks like 'The Poem', but the harmonies and tunefulness, not to mention the ethereal quality that every one of these eleven songs possesses, make sure that its just as compelling, if in a slightly different way. ' Misty-eyed slowie 'The Dreamers' keeps piling on the gold dust and sets a remarkably beautiful atmosphere before becoming slightly Beach House-esque - with added sparkles, and such effects are added to delicate and ambient numbers including 'Grand New Spin' and two short instrumentals, 'Pastures' and 'On The Brink'. They end with 'The Start Of Something Beautiful', another irresistible tune and a highlight amongst some perfect songs. The title is fitting and we can only hope that this is indeed just the start of this new chapter for the Oslo band.

The overall sound of 'The Glow' is one of otherworldly beauty and wonder, of a band who have managed to craft their own universe in a sea of dreampop and psychedelic groups. That's no easy task in itself when there are so many others attempting similar tricks, but the sheer quality of the songs alone would stand up to the challenge, and when you combine it with those harmonies, some stunning production and arranging, then you end up with an LP that stands out in its field and deserves any adoration that comes its way.

Gold Celeste's website

Stream or buy the album

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