Where oh where has all the great shoegaze gone? Well my friend, it’s all around us! Halifax group Kestrels has been on my radar since 2014 or so with their The Moon Is Shining Our Way EP, but I haven’t really kept up with them until now. I remember that EP leaning heavily into the distortion and guitar bendery aspect of the noise pop genre, whereas their new album Dream or Don’t Dream sees the band crafting legit earworm power pop songs while still dipping into total heavy guitar nerdery. There’s still crushing distortion, warped-string manipulations, heavy percussion and smooth vocals that aren’t completely drowned out, offering a nice variation of timbres. Trust me, I love me a good deluge of guitar noise, but sometimes you gotta mix that up a bit! Kestrels achieve that balance masterfully here.
On the song at hand, more guitar nerdery: having a J Mascis guitar feature on a track! You can even tell that it’s him – if I were given this song without knowing he was on it… I’d have a feeling. The full album is so solid though I wouldn’t even say this track is my favorite on the record (that’s probably “A Way Out”), but the song features the legend Mascis and the video has a ton of dogs in it. How could I not feature the dog video.