Ether Feels (エーテルフィールズ) is a shoegaze trio from Osaka, Japan. I know almost nothing about them. They’ve been around since at least 2010, when they released a self-titled album. Since then, they released a mini-album Raindrop Sparkle in 2011. Two of the songs from that release were later re-worked for the 2012 EP Red Dress Girl. Red Dress Girl also contained a different version of today’s song. In fact, the 2014 EP Twilight Dream features one song from each of the previous releases. Reworked for 2014. According to the band’s website, they have some all-new material that they hope to release this spring or summer.
I found out about this band through an email about a shoegaze compilation album that was just released. Wales-based Ear to Ear Records and the Indonesian label Gerpfast Kolektif co-curated a compilation album called Revolution: The Shoegaze Revival, which features 30 up-and-coming shoegaze bands from 16 countries all over the world. To be fair, though, there are five from Indonesia, four from Italy, and three each from Japan and Hong Kong.
I downloaded the compilation yesterday, and while there are five bands who were already familiar to me, there’s lots and lots of stuff for me to explore. I haven’t explored all of it yet, but I really like this one.
“Morning Star” by Ether Feels
The earlier version of the song has a bit more washed out sound to it, and the high end stuff is also much higher. I’m glad they polished out the high end, but I wish they had left the very MBV-esque wash in there. Regardless, it’s a great song.
It’s poppy and warm and spring-like. And while all of the guitar stuff is great, it’s really all about the vocals for me. A lot of their songs have a mixture of Japanese and English lyrics. This song happens to be entirely in English, but it’s not the actual words that I care about. I love the coed vocal harmonies. The way guitarist/vocalist/principal songwriter Tomo and bassist/vocalist Yoko harmonize makes this song the highlight of the EP, and one of the brightest stars on the comp. There’s something about the tone of the guitar and those smashing vocal harmonies that remind me of the first wave of East Coast USA shoegaze in the early-to-mid 1990s. All the stuff on Interstate 95 between DC and Boston. Yeah. That stuff.