If you only listen to one song today, make it “Is That What You Wanted To Hear?” by Bdrmm (2020, from the forthcoming album Bedroom)
Bdrmm (pronounced “Bedroom”) is a post-punk/shoegaze/dream pop quintet from Hull, England. They are signed to London’s Sonic Cathedral Records, and are slated to release their debut album Bedroom on June 30. It’s said that they draw influence from the likes of The Cure, Deerhunter, DIIV, Ride, and Radiohead. In today’s song, the influence of The Cure is pretty obvious, and I’m reminded quite a bit, generally of the seminal Cure album Disintegration and more specifically of “The Same Deep Water as You”.
The album was mixed by the prolific Brooklyn-based engineer Heba Kadry. You may not know her name, but she mastered a lot of albums that you absolutely love. Here’s a partial list:
- Red by Weekend
Lost Songs by …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
Runner by The Sea and Cake
Guilty of Everything by Nothing
Cranekiss by Tamaryn
Gold and Stone by Eternal Summers
More Faithful by No Joy
Thank Your Lucky Stars by Beach House
As If by !!!
Utopia by Björk
Slowdive by Slowdive
Okovi by Zola Jesus
Soft Sounds from Another Planet by Japanese Breakfast
The Practice of Love by Jenny Hval
Anak Ko by Jay Som
The Rescue (reissue) by Explosions in the Sky
How Strange Innocence
(reissue) by Explosions in the Sky
… and many, many others
So you get the point. Kadry has been super busy with noisy and beautiful albums for the last ten plus years.
Although I haven’t heard the whole album, I’ve read that Kadry and the band wanted this album to have seamless flow from one song to the next using cross-fading. Specifically, they wanted it to flow like Cocteau Twins’ Treasure or Pale Saints’ The Comforts of Madness. Those are two of my favourite albums of all time, so naturally my ears perk up when I hear something like that.
Anyway, today’s song is the only one from the album that’s available for share right now, and if it’s any indicator, I’m going to like the album a lot. It’s got nods to Pale Saints. It’s got nods to The Cure. It’s dreamy. It’s a little dark. It’s cavernous. It’s got a lot of things that make me like it. This is that song.
“Is That What You Wanted To Hear?” by Bdrmm
I love the major chord arpeggio high notes on the guitar sort of floating in space and the way the chunky bass counters that. There’s where I’m reminded a lot of Disintegration. The effects on the vocals lend a little more dreaminess to it. I like the quiet/loud/quiet dynamic because I almost always like that. I also like that even in the “loud” bits, it’s never over the top. While I certainly enjoy over-the-top loudness, this song is pretty great without that extra push. Sure the amps go to 11, but they’re fine on about 8.
The album has gotten buzz well in advance of its release, and the guys were slated to play a bunch of shows in the UK and Europe this spring to prime audiences for the July release. Obviously, nobody’s going to be playing any shows in front of audiences any time soon, but they’ve scheduled another slate of UK/Europe shows for this coming autumn.
You can pre-order Bedroom via Bandcamp here. They have already sold out of vinyl, but you can get CD and digital versions.