Grave Pool is an atmospheric dream pop recording project of Nashville-based musician Devan Kochersperger. He used to be the front of the Philly-based band Swiss Alps. He started this project last year and has previously released an EP callled Dinosaur Hell under the Grave Pool moniker.
The name “Grave Pool”, by the way, is a reference to Action Park, the infamous amusement park in New Jersey that was known for its lack of safety measures. The park has had a couple of incarnations, and it gained its infamy in the 1980s when a number of factors combined to make it a very dangerous place for people to seek thrills. Deaths at amusement parks are extraordinarily rare, but six people died at Action Park between the years of 1980 and 1987. Three of those deaths were people drowning in the park’s tidal wave pool. Over the years, several hundred other people had to be rescued in the tidal wave pool. It was for these reasons that the tidal wave pool had the nickname “The Grave Pool”. The park shut down in 1996, but reopened with much stronger safety regulations in place. Chief among the safety changes is that the wave pool is much shallower than it used to be. People of a certain age who grew up in or around New Jersey, and people who are really into amusement parks know exactly what you’re talking about if you say “Grave Pool”. Until now.
I got something in the mail bag the other day announcing the long-playing debut by Grave Pool, and specifically today’s song. The email suggested that this would be great for fans of Slowdive, Wild Nothing, Alvvays, and Elvis Depressedly. I don’t know who/what Elvis Depressedly is, but those other three are way way up my alley, so I knew that this was for me.
Kochersperger told Bullett Media, that this is “a hazy song written about various fortune-telling methods employed to predict future relationship mishaps in order to prevent them from happening”. Sure, I’m into that, too.
This is that song:
“Through the Skylight” by Grave Pool
There’s some totally hot 80s-type synths going on there beneath the layers of guitars and delay and the gentle vocals. There’s definitely a very vague Slowdive vibe emanating from this song, and it’s much more pronounced on some other songs. I’m reminded of something else here. Something that I haven’t seen mentioned in other reviews. Just for a bit at the intro and the outro of this song, I’m reminded of “We Will Become Silhouettes” by The Postal Service. I can’t really explain it, but there’s something about the twinkling synths at the beginning and the full stop at the end. They’re kind of subtle similarities, but I think they’re there.
No matter what it reminds you of, it’s a great song and an even better full-length record.
Mnemonics will be released February 17 via the upstart Chicago label 80s Ladies. That’s also home to Another Green World, among others. You can preorder now on the bandcamp page in your choice of digital download or compact disc.