Sungaze
This Dream


4.0
excellent

Review

by Jesper L. CONTRIBUTOR (94 Reviews)
August 18th, 2021 | 18 replies


Release Date: 08/13/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Summer stretching on the grass

Frankly, I would've been pissed had This Dream been anything but utterly delightful. A band called Sungaze releasing an album with a title that includes the word dream? Seems like ‘gaze heaven, right? Sure, it's a bit on the nose, but thankfully that nose is as much in the clouds as it is staring down at an impressive collection of pedals.

Simply put, This Dream is 40 minutes of excellently weightless and hazy indie. Expanding upon their equally floaty if somewhat unremarkable debut, the married duo consisting of Ian Hilvert and Ivory Snow present a crystal clear vision. Every element of the record is aimed at accomplishing a wonderfully light atmosphere, adding and subtracting any and all necessary components. As such, the album tilts its scales towards a somewhat unexpected more-is-less approach, yielding surprisingly effective results. 'Change Will Come' adds a distinctive synth line to its framework of reverb-soaked guitars and quiet croons, lifting the song into its desired clouds. The electronic elements are instantly noticeable and mixed with the clear intent of accentuating all that surrounds, yet manages to feel pleasantly detached enough as a whole. Similarly, 'Storm Chaser' ups the gaze-o-meter to eleven by intertwining as many distorted sounds as possible, crafting a beautifully indistinct sonic web that remains entirely memorable through its lingering, mysteriously cute riff.

Employing both musicians’ vocal talents, Sungaze breeze through the record with ease, keeping things fresh at every shrouded turn. Nonetheless, This Dream’s second half focusing on Snow's angelic hums favours the album immensely. The gorgeous ‘Strength in Softness’ finds itself somewhere in between Souvlaki and Pygmalion, carefully treading effectively simplistic, heavenly acoustic guitars aided by any and all cymbal crashes, synth tones, and bass drums necessary to craft its delightful ambience. Such details are hardly noticeable when casually drifting off to This Dream - to the record’s benefit - but make no mistake, every element is present with the very aim to blend into a gorgeously delicate and comfortable mass off sound. Closer ‘Slow the Burn’ perfectly sums up Sungaze’s sentiment over another distinguishable synth-and-gaze concoction: “Travel a road / Lonelier than most / I am not afraid”.

Joining the band in their intoxicating fearlessness is all This Dream asks you to do. Sungaze don’t push any boundaries: they fit comfortably within the dreamy-music perimeters, and excel at this very style. It’s one of the final rays of 2021’s summery sunlight, but it’s a damn bright one.



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user ratings (14)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2021


3555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

tldr gazes hard



https://sungaze.bandcamp.com/album/this-dream

sixdegrees
August 18th 2021


12456 Comments


Has to be better than sungazer at any rate

Sunnyvale
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2021


3045 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very nice writeup Jesper! I gave this a spin yesterday on your recommendation but didn't really process it, will be coming back to it.

SteakByrnes
August 18th 2021


25473 Comments


First we gaze at SHOES now we gaze at the SUN?? What's next?? What are we teaching the youth of today??

Digging: Volumes - Happier?

Project
August 18th 2021


5238 Comments


i am historically not the biggest shoegaze person but you sold me on this one Jesper. lovely writeup and I will give this a gaze

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2021


3555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thx sunny/proj! hope you guys enjoy :]

YoYoMancuso
Contributing Reviewer
August 18th 2021


14862 Comments


doesn't that hurt your eyes?

Digging: Every Time I Die - Radical

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
August 19th 2021


26428 Comments


Oh I remember this band, debut was good, didn't know they had a new one.

Will give it a proper check, nice rev Jesp!

Digging: Converge - Bloodmoon I

zaruyache
August 19th 2021


24695 Comments


added to the todo playlist

Digging: Sadness (USA) - _____

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
August 19th 2021


9536 Comments


"gaze" in the band's name: yup, it's a Jesp rev

Digging: Angele - Nonante-Cinq

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
August 19th 2021


3555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i am the predictable

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
August 19th 2021


9536 Comments


stronk hetfield energy

Cayit
August 20th 2021


30 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very Good Album.

sixdegrees
August 20th 2021


12456 Comments


Strength in Softness is aptly named as it’s the best thing on here

cold
August 20th 2021


6186 Comments


Finally checking this out. But Jesper, my guy...I accidentally checked out Sungaze(r) at first and that, too, is sickkkkkkkk

Digging: Angel Du$t - YAK: A Collection of Truck Songs

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
August 20th 2021


3555 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn well i better get on that too then!

cold
August 20th 2021


6186 Comments


It’s ain’t gazey. It’s like, chip tune jazz or some shit

Cayit
August 23rd 2021


30 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very good Album.

One of the Higlights of the Year...So Far.



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