A whole lot of bands are trying on the shoegaze aesthetic with varying degrees of success right now, but let me tell you that pacific UV’s longplay 2 is like, god oh god, so much more open-hearted and just…. lump-in-throat, memories rushing through your brain, cinematic and huge. Fucking hell, listen to the seemingly endless succession of emotional peaks and surges on opening instrumental “Alarmist” and find out for certain.
Or check out “Need,” like Spiritualized shorn of all gospel affectation, floating in a gorgeous church organ ether, with liquid mercury vocals playing through a distant speaker and soaring guitars crashing in with searing leads or distant call and response liquidity. Listen to the suspended animation country of “Tremolo” with a guest vocal turn by Carolyn Berk (of Lovers), piano, music box chimes and slide guitar seemingly plucked by fingers almost too tentative to pluck another note, just in case the languid mood dare be broken. No!
“Something Told Us” starts off creeping and delicate, like something off the Trembling Blue Stars’ first album, where the sun threatens to break through a thin layer of early morning cloud at any second, where, y’know, connection is only “THIS” far away, and listen! There it comes with music-box electric piano and a simple guitar line joined by drum machine rhythms illuminated by occasional gusts of wordless vocals. High clear slide guitar signals that the bad days are very much over as the sound builds to a noisy, gleeful catharsis. “Waiting”, carried along by epic piano lines and melancholy memory strings and Moe Tucker percussion is almost pure pop, though in suspended animation, and elfin vocals intoning over and over again “I’m waiting… for you to come home.” Yep, this is good.
“If So” is one-chord, jangling, sad/ecstatic bliss where music stops being instruments and instead becomes this unicellular comforting blanket that brings tears to your eyes. “Ljiv” ends the album on a baroque and peaceful note, like the way the Beatles closed the White Album with “Good Night” and it was like, “Ahhhh, everything will be fine, Ringo is rocking me to sleep.” Yes, like that, but no vocals and perfectly still string arrangements.
Say yes to Mazzy Star, yes to Lycia, yes to Stone Roses’ “I Wanna Be Adored,” yes to Ride’s Nowhere, yes to Mojave 3, yes to Spacemen 3’s “Honey,” yes to the reflection of a bright yellow streetlight in a single tear.
Where is your heart? Where is your soul? Can we see it floating silently in the night sky?