Whirr – June (2011)

“Junebouvier” is an excellent development on the tone California shoegazers Whirr set with their debut EP, Distressor, in 2010. It features a noisy, jangly guitar line right out of 1990 and while this kind of nostalgic pandering is often off-putting, the band executes it with the kind of enthusiasm and grace that suggests they would have been making the same music had they not been infants when the genre was born. Punchy drums anchor layers of fuzz and noise that coalesce into the dreamy foundation for indecipherable vocals that, upon examination of the record sleeve, turn out to be surprisingly personal: “The weather reminds me solace can’t be found. I don’t like this feeling. I talk to myself cause no one’s listening and I don’t care.” – not exactly syllabically-fitting throwaway lyrics.

In comparison to some of the heavier-hitting tracks off Distressor, “Junebouvier” feels like less of a single. It is a good introduction to the band’s sound and would be a nice puzzle piece in the context of a larger release, but doesn’t really stack up to songs like “Leave” or “Blue”. The B-side, “Sundae”, could sit on the front of this 7″ just as comfortably as the lead track, actually. It fades into a familier soundscape with a darker tone than “Junebouvier”, but the same cohesive feel, and dances around some typically airy vocals for three minutes before fading back into whence it came.

It’s hard to define exactly what sets Whirr apart from the litany of other Slowdive-worshipping dream-poppers that have dotted the indie lanscape in the past few years. It could be their instinctive sense of using their layers and noise as part of the music rather than a stylistic afterthought,  it could be the dreamy vocals that honestly could not possibly fit any other way, it could be the blunt but refreshingly honest and poetic lyrics, or it could be the unification of these myriad parts in a “wall of sound” that doesn’t feel like it was whitewashed and erected in a trendy loft space.

 

7.8

 

Cole Firth

Listen – “Junebouvier”

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