Chasing Tidal Waves by Lo! Peninsula; (Critical Analysis and Dissection)
By Ningombam Captain
Length : 4 mins 36 secs
Release : 29th July ‘17
Genre : Shoegaze
“The shadows on the walls don’t recognize me anymore. I wish I could pretend that everything’s gonna be alright.”
The above quoted lines sound a bit like a fragment of a spiritual lecture, but they’re not. The truth is far more better. They are actually excerpts of the melancholic lyrics of a song by the shoegaze rock trio ‘Lo! Peninsula’. Shoegaze is a tributary of indie rock whose course runs somewhere between alternative rock and neo-psychedelia. Characterised by the heavy use of guitar effect pedals and deliberate blurring of musical components, shoegazing was popular among the wave of bands emerging from the suburbs of Britain in the early 90’s. This genre flourished for a limited period of time after being over-shadowed by other radio-friendly britpop bands.
The evolving sonic pattern of the world finds a way to evoke the rare shoegazing vibes in Manipur, penetrating the nine hill ranges. Thus, Lo! Peninsula, Manipur’s first shoegaze rock band was formed in the early months of 2017. They released their debut single titled ‘Chasing Tidal Waves’ via Youtube and Soundcloud on the 29th of July. The official audio magnificently garnered 1.6k views in a period of 3 weeks after release on Youtube.
Technically, the song length is a moderate 4 minutes and 36 seconds, which is convenient enough for a shoegaze song to express the hazy feels. To an experienced music listener, the song might sound like a congruous mash-up of tracks from The Verve’s ‘Urban Hymns’ with Slowdive’s album ‘Souvlaki Space Station’. It has the traditional vibe of a britpop song with a blurry touch of a typical dreampop sound.
The song opens with an ambient intro in a crescendo which is to be met with the consistent drumbeats. Then comes the cascading guitar plucking which serves as the trademark of the song. The intro guitar lasts up to 00:50 and introduces the overall aesthetics. The verse starts with the soothing vocals to deliver the lyrics with optimum emotions. The tenor range vocal is perfect because a countertenor might have spoiled the song scale or at the least, produced an entirely different result.
The chorus is a foot-tapping earworm. It is delivered at a higher tone than the verses, which is uncommon in shoegaze songs. After the upbeat chorus and the second verse, comes the most interesting part the song will offer, a sound which resembles the actual tidal waves of a sea washing up to a rocky shore. This part is a trance created by the up-building of layers of effects and it reminds me of a continuous transition of tone in a Shepard–Risset glissando. It gets lower and louder simultaneously, depicting an advancing tidal wave to the listener. It gradually mixes with an indistinct baritone vocal humming.
Then, the song keeps up with the literal meaning when a guitar trance of alternate picking is introduced and the tidal sound fades away gradually, which implies to the act of chasing away of tidal waves. The trance serves as the guitar solo of the song. After it stops at 3:50, the intro guitar resumes, unveiling the sparse drums and the underlying bassline which is addictive and really adds to the sonic depth of the song.
The song itself is a wash of sound. The enchanting guitars, nostalgic ambience, consistent drums, addictive bassline, strong vocals and above all, the melancholic lyrics make the song an experience of a beautiful white noise that is too pure and unadulterated to withstand.
Nitin Shamurailatpam - vocals and guitar
Avinash Thokchom - bass guitar
Jyotin Elangbam - drums and percussion
(Ningombam Captain is the creator of the comprehensive review blog, Blue Bannerman Reviews. The writer is currently pursuing English Hons. in MS University, Vadodara. For reviews, Blue Bannerman can be contacted at the official facebook page and will cover critical analysis of songs, books, movies, and local eateries.)
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