Album #107: Cathedral Bells – Velvet Spirit

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: Cassadaga, Florida, USA
  • Label: Good Eye
  • Best Track: Heavy Rain

A week or so ago, someone from Good Eye Records shared a handful of free download codes for this album on a Facebook group I follow. A kind gesture indeed, and since I took advantage of it, I thought the least I could do was give it a quick review.

Especially since it isn’t bad at all. Velvet Spirit is the first full-length album from the Floridian shoegaze/dream-pop band Cathedral Bells, and it’s a fine start from a band who don’t exactly sound like they haven’t found their direction yet.

Reminiscent of DIIV, but with more of a bent towards Peter Hook basslines, Cathedral Bells take us on a cool and mesmeric journey through their debut. Unusually for me, I think I prefer their more airy and ethereal efforts to the more abrasive ones. ‘Heavy Rain’ certainly stands out with its delicate ’80s vibe, while ‘Time Capsule’ is instantly likeable too.

There’s a lot of this sort of music around, and it can be hard to make it stand out. Velvet Spirit probably doesn’t stand out in truth, but it doesn’t need to. More important is that the band find their sound and use it well, and Cathedral Bells don’t seem like a band relying on layers and effect to mask a lack of talent or ideas.

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