The Emerald Down, Aquarium EP; A Study in Her, Auto-Amputation

Not in Oxford (OX4, for some of you), not in Reading, not anywhere in the U.K., in fact, but in Toledo, Ohio, is the where the new shoegazing (Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, et al) movement lives, courtesy of T-Town record label Honest in Secret, well-proven Ohio s’gazers The Emerald Down, and A Study in Her (whose members are situated in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Maryland, Bloomington, Boston, D.C., and New Haven—kind of like us, in that way).

The Emerald Down again makes a strong statement for the return of everyone’s most beloved staring-at-our-feet music with its Aquarium EP. But TED ups the ante with its new offering, relying less on its influences and unleashing more of its ambitions. Losing much of its effects, much of its overprocessing, Aquarium shows The Emerald Down breaking into its own with a more stripped-down approach, but still with a keen eye toward creating yet more stunningly beautiful music. Much interest should be garnered by a hopefully soon-to-be-released full-length.

A Study in Her—a collective or band or something (nobody told us)—has released something quite brilliant in Auto-Amputation, an album that spans about 4,000 songwriting genres, all of which we will place, very closed-mindedly into the category of ‘shoegazing.’ After all, there’s a heavy, heady influence of MBV all over it. And Slowdive…even Chapterhouse! Of course, to be totally honest here, Chapterhouse never quite got this good: Sorry. All of these statements are, unfortunately, too limiting, since A Study in Her eases quite often into more experimental electro (read: Prima Donnas, Suicide) as well. And with a healthy sense of humor too. A Study in Her: amorphous, but very engaging. And it sounds like they probably don’t really care what we think about it, either.

[ TED site | TED MP3 | ASIH site | ASIH MP3 ]

Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

blog comments powered by Disqus