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The dream pop/shoegaze, Bristol-based band Secret Shine released earlier this year their latest full length album ‘There Is Only Now‘ (Saint Marie Records); A contemporary gem of the music genre they have been serving since early 1990’s, despite the pausing for the years 1996-2004. In 2003 Clairecords a record label for shoegaze and dream pop of the late 90’s and 00’s issued a compilation of Secret Shine‘s early releases while the band was signed in Sarah Records, back in the 90’s. Also, in 2005 Tim Morris (drummer) passed away member of Secret Shine since 1995 and also drummer of Junkie. The remaining members (of Secret Shine & Junkie) decided to honor the late member with an acoustic tribute ‘Morris 1974-2005 (A Tribute To Tim Morris)‘. These are the two reasons that made them reunite, re-form and continue as Secret Shine.

The new 10-track album ‘There Is Only Now’ is a remarkable work as a whole. Verifying for once again that is justified the comparison with Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine.  From the first song ‘Burning Stars’ anyone can perceive the shoegaze flame still burning in their sound. Their sonic magnificence glows insuperably in ‘All In Your Head’ thanks to the almost magical synth composition and the evocative dreamy vocals of Kathryn Smith. In the following track ‘Dirty Game’ all the vocalists of Secret Shine unite their skills to create the appropriate atmosphere and put the listeners in mood for the absolute love game. ‘…Think about I have you/You want it/Dirty game/We play it anyway…’. In ‘Drift Away’ the synths flow and dissolve into noise however that gives a different character in their music  for few moments  you  can even think about synth wave and even new wave . They keep the same music attitude and in ‘To The Well’ but with the bass in front while they always keep the atmospheric vocals and the hazy guitar riffs. The impressive album continues with the atmospheric sonic multiple sound textures and with more echo in their vocals in tracks like ‘For You’, ‘Snowglobe’ & ‘Falling Again’, seems like they’re getting discreetly and gradually in the “dreamy” territory, while they still keep their grandeur noisiness. Fact that is more obvious in the last two songs where they are completely into the atmospheric pop music field for sure. In ‘Things I Said’  the hazy riffs become fewer  and the synths are not hidden and dissolve in the noise… In the closing one ‘Make Me You’  the synth composition wins the listener  for  good once again, while I am more than certain that it’s a great closure for a great album.

Elli Mavrou