I first discovered A Shoreline Dream through 2009’s Recollections of Memory and in particular the Ulrich Schnauss collaboration on the track “NeverChanger”. It was a song I kept revisiting and I was hooked. Ever since, they have been steadily releasing, evolving their sound but never straying too far from their shoegaze roots.
Working out of Colorado, their music continues to combine lush, textural electronics with elemental instrumentation, shimmering guitars and ethereal vocals. On Melting, their latest release, atmosphere is still key and the arrangements fuse all pieces together to create an organic whole, crafting a cascading, pulsing and melodic journey. It can be at times intoxicating, drawing the ear ever closer, revealing more with each play and beaming swirling images onto the mind’s eye.
There are traces of folk and new age assemblages throughout Melting, melding perfectly with washes of sound and streams of ambience. The joy I found way back in 2009 is still there, writ large in the delicate yet chasm-like production and beautiful songwriting.
Opener “Turn Too Slow” mixes harsh guitar with lilting melodies, title track “Melting” is pure blissed out melancholy while “Always Reason” is a lo-fi slow burner with a strobing, low-slung bass line. “Downstairs Sunday” is a lovely, atmospheric folk(ish) instrumental acting as a sweet diversion before the remainder of the album is unfurled before our karmic gaze.
Having worked with Ulrich Schnauss, Engineers, and Chapterhouse, A Shoreline Dream has continued their evolution of dreamwave over the last 14 years, perfecting and channelling their sound. Ryan Policky handles vocals, guitar, keyboards and bass, while Erik Jeffries plays guitar and provides backing vocals. Chase Dobson has been recruited to play additional keyboards and the overall result is an album of opaque flowing textures.
“Our vibe tends to move darker, but lately and surprisingly it has been uptempo, yet still dark,” says Ryan Policky, “I have always loved that. A sound that is super energetic but downright dreary. I think that is where we are. We’re pumped to get depressed, but also in ideas that were nearly all conceived on their first play-throughs. Emotion translated into tempos. Take the primal element of rhythm and build layers on top of it. Ours just happened to turn out the way they are here, and we were super excited how it came to be. Probably one of my favorite releases we’ve put out there.”
“Working on Melting and collaborating during [the] writing and composing process was extremely rewarding,” adds Erik Jeffries. “So when we started to put ideas together it seemed like new ideas were jumping out at me. And working with Ryan was fantastic. There was an openness to explore and no ideas or conversations were off limits. It really helped push me to be thoughtful (and critical) about what I was contributing and kept me very committed throughout the entire process.”
“A Moment to Repeat It” is a standout track, so deep and warm you could almost fall through the clouds of billowing ambience, Policky’s voice is so winsome it is almost confessional. “The Oceans Above” and “Seek to Hide” carry us further into heavily chorused guitars and gossamer vocals leaving “Atheris Hispida” to close out a stunning album.
Melting is a warm embrace. Every track floats in and soothes addled minds with its vaporous mists and elfin-like siren songs.
File alongside Ride, Engineers, Slowdive and God Is An Astronaut
Melting is out August 21st via Latenight Weeknight Records
Find A Shoreline Dream on the web: