Westkust’s Selftitled Starts Summer Early
By Dylan Falk
Westkust came into my life as a recommendation due to my love for Alvvays. After listening to their self-titled album an incredible amount over the last week I can say this Swedish band from Gothenburg did not disappoint. This is shoegaze for lying down in the field of flowers, perfectly illustrated by the album’s cover. They combine the layered, ethereal guitar of bands like My Bloody Valentine to the sweet indie pop vocals and chord progressions of Alvvays. This adds up to what has quickly become my most listened to album of the year so far.
As the semester here winds down I am always on the lookout for music that is going to define my summer, and I already know this album is it. What is really incredible about it to me is how heavy the guitars and reverb are, yet all these songs remain so sunny. Vocalist Julia Bjernelind, whose voice is the closest similarity to Alvvays, keeps each song catchy and fun. Her voice always rings through the heavy reverb behind her and bring catchy choruses and bright verses. My favorite song on the album “Rush” opens up with loud snares and goes into a snappy guitar line that is just drenched in the reverb. That guitar line makes me want to roll down the windows of my car and drive as fast as I can. Bjernelind sings in the chorus “All my tears gone dry, I’m high up in the sky” which builds on the already catchy guitar line. This song has been stuck in my head for weeks. After that comes what is a great run of tracks in the album: “Drive”, “Daylight, and “Cotton Skies” are all just as good as “Rush.” They keep up the memorable guitar lines, strong percussion, and beautiful singing. Coming in at only nine tracks, Westkust ends up being the perfect length. Each song is memorable in its own way, and will be perfect when the temperatures ramp up.
What really impresses me about this album is how little the sound of each song varies, yet this sound does not get tiring. There are no ballads here. Just great pop songs covered in echoing guitars and angelic singing. This sound is something I have always thought needed to be explored by more bands. Many times shoegaze bands keep the morose and sad vibes behind them. Alvvays and other bands have experimented with heavy guitars and poppy song writing, but no one I have heard has done it nearly as well as Westkust has on this album. They have perfected this sound, and I am so happy to have found it.
Westkust has created an album that not only creates beautiful walls of sound but also contains some of the catchiest pop tunes of the year. Once this semester is over, these will be my songs of the summer and I hope they are yours too.
Edited by Spencer Smith