Recorded over a period of 8 months in his own bedroom, Colin Ward under his moniker Observer Drift explores the subtleties of shoegaze and dream pop, with mixed results - while it can be argued that his replication of not only the originators of the genre but even other revivalists is highly derivative, Corridors
is not completely lacking in substance when it comes to composition and pop sensibility. First impressions for the record are not all together appealing, but it can be said that it has some potential to grow - following in the vein of Wild Nothing
's 2010 released Gemini
combines a dream pop aesthetic with programmed drums and a wistful atmosphere. It does somewhat capture the general mood it requires, but it's hard to say Corridors
hits the nail on the head. One important factor in regards to the success of Wild Nothing is that almost every song on the LP is built around strong hooks and addictive melodies. Ward manages to achieve similar results with some songs on Corridors
, but falls short when it comes to creating a fully engaging record.
What may be a fundamental flaw in comparing Corridors
is that though sounding remarkably similar, each respective artist may be aiming for a different outcome - unlike Wild Nothing's shorter and highly palatable songs, Observer Drift has longer songs which on occasion toy with relatively slow tempos. Songs like 'Tree Shadow', with a duration of just over 3 minutes, is much in the vein of Wild Nothing's songwriting yet sits alongside slow burners such as the 6 minute 'We Make Believe' or the exemplary, eponymous opener. Various other minute comparisons can be made but the point of putting it alongside another record with almost identical features and aims is to highlight that Observer Drift delivers some great songs but doesn't manage to elicit a stronger emotional response than other albums like it. Needless to say, the above rating is absolutely not generous in any way, and thus this album is still recommended for those who enjoy basking in the melancholy of the dream/indie pop revival - Colin Ward seems to know what he is doing and his potential as a musician is yet to be fully realised.