(Photo Credit - Alec Payton)
Advance Review - Haunted Shed: Faltering Light (April 2, 2021)
I’ve never been to Haunted Shed’s hometown of Athens, Georgia, so I don’t really have a reference point for what it sounds like, but something about Faltering Light makes me want to think it sounds like this - gentle, well crafted indie music with a bit of an early ‘90s vibe that feels like it would work well on hazy summer days. That’s how I’ll imagine it from now on anyway.
"Collections" kicks their debut album off, after the instrumental intro track, with a casual, floaty tone. It definitely draws you in and makes you want to hear what’s next. It segues perfectly into the next track "Impending Machines" which then becomes a jaunty, poppy song whilst still retaining the chilled vibe in the background. The birdsong that ends it is a nice touch.
"Christmas Store" intertwines the guitar and piano beautifully, it’s a continuation of the upbeat vibe. It’s followed by "Umami Bomb", the most interesting track so far, funky, food-focused and fabulous, it’s the album highlight for me. "Old Joy" puts me in mind of late ‘80s shoegaze bands, it’s another strong track.
"I Held it as Long as I Could" is woozy and languid with the focus on some great guitar work, while the lyrics drift along, the guitar veers towards the epic, including a sweet solo. "Button Inside of My Soul" is like an early REM and electronica mix, it works surprisingly well.
What I liked most about this album was that it felt like proper indie. Haunted Shed aren’t trying to be a rock band, they seem to just be enjoying experimenting with different sounds and vibes and their musical pedigree means they do it really well. Even though all the songs blended together to make a coherent whole, they each offered something surprising or unexpected, making Faltering Light a genuinely pleasant listening experience.
Rating - 4/5