I came to Connecticut’s Landing by way of Denmark. We met up in a pub called El Paraiso Records, had a few pints, got to know each other, and now they are fast becoming a favorite ghost that haunts my skull. Thanks El Paraiso for introducing us. I have to say I’m a bit embarrassed that I hadn’t ever heard of Landing before 2016, but sometimes that’s just how it goes. You sometimes never notice the best view is right from your backyard. Not that Connecticut can be seen from my Midwest perch, but you get the gist.
To say Landing is a prolific band is an understatement. They’ve been putting out various full-lengths, EPs, and ambient sound excursions for 20 years now. The husband/wife duo of Aaron and Adrienne Snow, Daron Gardner, John Bent, and other capable creative types over the years have been churning out a kaleidoscope of dream pop, psych, shoegaze, ambient, and anything else 4AD or Sire would’ve happily released back in the heyday of early 80s alternative. Despite the sometimes hallucinogenic effect their woozy guitar and synth waves may cause, there’s always an underpinning of pop and melody(thanks to the capable and dreamy vocals Adrienne adds.) If you’ve ever melted into the darkened corner of your bedroom as you pined for that dark-haired guy or gal in Physics class listening to early Cure, Cocteau Twins, Siouxsie and the Banshess, Spacemen 3, Jesus and Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine, then Landing is going to be your new favorite band.
As I was saying, I was introduced to Landing by way of Danish record label El Paraiso Records. Co-label head Jonas Munk had been a fan of Landing for years and decided he wanted to work with them. The collaboration was Landing’s 2016 record Third Sight(Impetus 25, if you’re keeping count.) It was a mix of psychedelic ambient and hazy dream pop. It was a stellar LP and a beautiful first collaboration between prolific band and prolific record label. Nearly two years later Landing are readying their next record with El Paraiso titled Bells In New Towns. They’ve dropped their lead single and opening track called “Nod”. If “Nod” is any indication, Landing are turning up the intensity and it’s a hell of a good fit.
“Nod” opens in a blaze of drums, bass, and wavering synth. Where Third Sight was very much floating on a cloud of pink and purple into the ether, “Nod” has Dino Jr drive. Everything blurs into a fuzzy riff that explodes into an almost Lush feel, courtesy of Adrienne’s vocals. There’s an aggressive quality here that was absent before. This sounds like rock band exploding at the seams. Landing still adds plenty of dreamy, psychedelic heft within the buzzing bass-heavy track, but there’s no mistaking this for anything but a hell of a rock and roll banger.
I think with “Nod”, Landing have taken their sound to the next level. I’m hoping to share a few more pints with them as well.
Bells In New Towns arrives on May 4th via El Paraiso Records. Preorder the album here.
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