EP: Relay Tapes – Early Morning Abstract

Out now on Shore Dive Records is the ‘Early Morning Abstract’ ep from Australian Shoegaze/DreamPop act, Relay Tapes, aka Jade Tyers. This collection of songs is available to download from Bandcamp and includes tunes released individually throughout 2018-19. 
There’s five tracks, the first being, ‘Theme 42’ which starts with a building, wave-like crescendo of ethereal sound. The sonic peaks and flows grab the listener with it’s at times intensity and then subtly. There’s an air of mystery as the ep starts to unfold.
‘In The Ground’ commences with an awakening, like a softer, sleepier version of a track by Beme Seed. Then, percussion, bass and guitar herald in vocals wrapped in a dream-like blanket. This track builds without being noticeable at first, as multiple voices ebb in. The mix on this tune is it’s strength, as the listener is hit with sounds from all parts of the spectrum, with not one element dominating, all building into one defined sonic landscape.
With backward, looping sounds, ‘Planetarium’ crashes in. It’s a harder-edged tune, with fuzzy, crunchy guitar, a groove to the bass and some really unique percussion and drum effects. The vocals are encapsulated at the back of the recording, almost approximating a synth-effect. They feel more like an instrument, locking in with the percussion and driving the tune along. The heavier aspect of this track, at times, is reminiscent of ‘Loveless’ era My Bloody Valentine, with a distorted-pop sensibility, with all the electronic/rock crossover ebb of Curve and slight flourishes of early Lush.
‘Dream Colour’ is the next tune. An atmospheric intro, combining nature sounds and electronica sets the tone for a tune much more pop-orientated than its predecessors. A haunting acoustic and vocal track transforms as thumping drums and pulsating bass swerve and fire forth. Gentle distortion guitar and electronic effects fortify this tune and give a great sense of drama and a release of tension, as thoughtful and well crafted layers of instrumentation build and decay.
The final tune is the slower, noisier ‘Teeth’ with it’s driving bass hooks and wall of feedbacking and gnarling guitar. The tune drops into a more mellow jam, with the distortion clawing at the periferie, before everything fires back in, once again, with an emphasis on groove and gnarly noise. The tune breaks into a calmer, synth and bass dominated end, with spacey vocals stabbing in as the tune fades.
This ep is adventurous, thoughtful and creative. It’s also poppy and infectious and as it’s title suggests is a perfectly atmospheric, dream-like early morning abstract. 

Previous ALBUM REVIEW: Biffy Clyro - A Celebration of Endings
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