Sunday, May 31, 2015

REVIEW: Stokeswood - "2075" EP - What Dreams Are Made Of

photo credit: Kasey Keown

While 2075, the name of Atlanta based Stokeswood's upcoming EP, set to drop June 16th might suggest a futuristic sound, timeless might be more apt. Contained in the hyper reality of tracks like 2075, Stop By, and Our Streets there are aural touchstones that step back into the lush 80's synth well of sounds and imagery. That musical genre that cleansed some of the punk and post punk grim away at the time also injected a fair amount of hope and inspiration into the culture while still asking those youthful questions about life. When you listen to the dreamy as hell beginning of Forget with that specific mix of percussive synth, staccato / bendy guitar lines, emotionally dense drones of sound and thumping beat it literally takes you back in time. As Adam Patterson's evocative vocals and pretty melody begin the song becomes as embraceable as your first tentative high school dance with that one person you hope will fall heads over heels for you (as you have already done for them). The snappy drum claps and lush down beats is melodramatic and fuses the whole sonic affair into something that could of existed in an 80's John Hughes film.

Stokeswood effectively finds a way to blend EDM with 80's ish romatic wave with indie rock and even dub step flavors. Their blendo sound feels like a mixture of bands like Ghostland Observatory, M83, Vampire Weekend, Bad Suns, Neon Trees, Cold Play and even old school 80's Mr. Mister and
Limahl (Kajagoogoo), The track Paperweight has a whimsical tone with a Euro pop underbelly and induces wide eyed wondering. Bloody History tosses in sharp edges into the dance beat. It is one of those songs that will get everyone jumping in time (in unison) with their fists in the air. The synth break is potent stuff. In Current, the guitar lines shine providing a wall of sound to offset against Patterson's vocal aerobatics. This song has the most pop indie rock feel and mixes up tempos and tones so well.

In the end, Stokeswood EP 2075 keeps you dancing while tapping into that deep well of hope, sense of exploration and deep day dreaming that exists in our childhood before those tangled fingers of cynicism crept around our hearts.
Robb Donker

2075 comes out on June 16th
The Album release party takes place on June 19th at Terminal West in Atlanta.

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