02.01.2015 — “Umi” by Pinkshinyultrablast


If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Umi” by Pinkshinyultrablast (2015, from the album Everything Else Matters.

Pinkshinyultrablast is a shoegaze band from St. Petersburg, Russia. I wrote about them once back in December of 2013 after I happened upon their 2009 EP Happy Songs For Happy Zombies. I didn’t know anything about them then, and I really don’t know much about them now. They list their major influences as the Cocteaus, A Sunny Day in Glasgow, Tears Run Rings, Lush, Slowdive, and Astrobrite. Those are all in heavy rotation around here, so they land themselves in very good company.

The band’s name sounds more like some Japanese bubblegum pop girl group, but this is pretty far from that. They actually named themselves after the Astrobrite album Pinkshinyultrablast (2005). They also say that they spent a lot of time listening to Astrobrite, and specifically that record, as they were developing their own sounds. Specifically, they paid attention to the space between the heavy fuzzy guitar parts and the melodic pop parts. Like the sexiness of the negative space employed in the Helvetica typeset, it’s this “space between the contrasting sounds” that the kids from Pinkshinyultrablast find so sexy about the album from which their name came. I recommend that album as well as the rest of the Astrobrite catalog. That, however, isn’t why we’re here today.

Last week, Pinkshinyultrablast released their long-awaited debut album via Shelflife Records and Club AC30 Records. I didn’t even know about it until I saw it on a “favorite albums of 2015 (so far)” list. As soon as I saw that list, I immediately bought a download of the album without even worrying about listening to the samples. That was this morning as I was getting ready for work. I obviously haven’t spent very much time with the album yet, but I love it. “Umi” is one of the standouts on what really is a very strong record from start to finish.

This is that song:
“Umi” by Pinkshinyultrablast

What’s not to love? There’s some shimmering bright guitars, thick bass and percussion, angelic vocals of their singer Lyubov, and some of that loud/quiet/loud juxtaposition. Midway through that song, there’s a fadeout and a quick pause, making a false ending. Everyone knows how much I love that kind of thing. It’s all very hazy and dream-like, and beautiful. It makes me think of the onset of spring. Windows open, warm and sunny, with a nice breeze. And in a lot of ways, this song reminds me of Chicago shoegazers Lightfoils, who made my #2 favorite album of 2014 with Hierarchy.

There’s a really bright future for this band, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

They ran a very limited pressing of 600 copies of vinyl with a unique color/style for each label. 300 in a “starry sky” motif for the UK and 300 in “amber glitter” for the US. All 600 copies vanished very quickly. A second pressing, on “ultraclear vinyl with orange and black spots” (with 150 made available to the United States) also sold out before they were even pressed. I haven’t heard any details about a third vinyl pressing. They did 500 copies of the CD, which will be available from the middle of February. As of right now, they still have some of those. Physical copies also come with download codes. If you only want a download, you can buy it from eMusic here.

For extra credit, I encourage viewing the dreamy video:

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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