Blankenberge is a shoegaze/dream pop quintet from Saint Petersburg, Russia. I wrote about them once last year when they were featured on a compilation of The Cure cover songs, but I still know very little about them. It’s true that the band is named after the Belgian coastal resort town, but that’s everything that I know about them. They released a self-titled EP last spring and the cover of “Pictures of You” last summer. They released their debut album Radiogaze back in June of this year, and it looks like it’s making some year-end lists. At least it’s making year-end lists that are devoted specifically to shoegaze and dream pop. I haven’t spent very much time with the album, but I love what I’ve heard. Especially today’s song.
“Falling Stars” by Blankenberge
I like that there’s no messing around; no quiet intro or anything like that. It’s just beautiful, fuzzy noise from the drop. 48 seconds in, when the vocals come in, it gets much quieter. After that, the heavy fuzz comes back and pretty much drives the car for the majority of the ride. From 3:15 to 4:00, the bass guitar gets its own moment, and then the glorious fuzz takes over. The coda goes on for quite some time, which is in sharp contrast to the lack of any real intro. The whole time, Yana Guselnikova’s angelic vocals soar somewhere in the ether, way above everything else. When she hits the high highs, Her vocals remind me a bit of the first singer out of Hooverphonic. The music, though, reminds me much more of the Just For a Day-era Slowdive. To be fair, though, this is a bit fuzzier and a bit muddier than that.
Radiogaze was released by Elusive Sound Records in June. You can download it in the Bandcamp store for only $5 USD here. Better yet, you can download the entire Blankenberge catalog for only $4.80 USD.