It’s difficult, less possible, comparatively to other music genres, to find a “bad” shoegaze album. Distinctive music structure, and emotional waves, gives a special merit at this kind of music.

Whimsical, formed in 1999, is an American shoegaze-δream pop band, from Chicago. Their members are: guitarist Neil Burkdoll, Krissy Vanderwoude on vocals, Mark Milliron on guitars, Brian Booher on bass and Andy Muntean on drums. Their debut album ‘Setting Suns Are Semi-Circles‘ was released in 2000 through Seraph Productions. Their second album was an adventure; after many shows in Chicago, the members of the band moved to different cities, so the latter one was realized in February 2017 with Saint Marie Records.

First, and foremost, I’m so charmed by the album cover; green skies abloom with white flowers, under a dark, low-lit mood. The opening track ‘Love Me‘ and the second ‘Lost And Found‘ bring to mind the light dream pop of The Moon Seven Times, while ‘Surreal‘, ‘Glow‘ and ‘Anchor‘ run into catchy indie pop fields. ‘Flutter Echo‘ is calm and melodic; a pretty beautiful track with fragile vocals by Krissy Vanderwoude, while ‘I Thought Of You‘ is another shiny indie pop song. ‘Beginning Of The End‘ is the first highlight of the album. Awesomely melancholic guitar melodies, and breathing vocals. ‘Leap Of Faith‘ is another highlight, a Lush-like song with magnificent dark guitars and ethereal female vocals. The homonym track visits delightfully the ghosts of Lush, the pop aura of The Moon Seven Times, the ethereal drape of Cocteau Twins.

Excellent guitars without distortion or feedback, hypnotic vocals, clear and fresh sound; they fly over shoegaze-dream pop-indie pop fields, and their music-scapes are truly wonderful.

Theodoros Rentesis