Writing this review seems a little futile since this album is unfortunately not getting a release on streaming, so I doubt any readers will go to the effort to listen to it. You can find it on Youtube, although it may get taken down. But after being floored by my first listen, I knew I had to write about it anyway.
The first thing that stood out to me when listening were the similarities to My Bloody Valentine. I know it’s kind of cliche to compare a shoegaze band to MBV but I think it’s warranted for Feels Like You. There are lots of instrumental intros and outros that have the same qualities as moments on Loveless. ‘Mellow’, the first track on the album, clearly does this. It starts out with faded piano chords before adding some guitar. Then after a couple minutes the song bursts into a heavier sound, where it really reminds me of the band Nothing, mainly through the guitar tones and drumming style. Nothing and Whirr have a lot of overlap, and have even released a split single together.
This album shares some characteristics with another of my favorite albums this year, Deceiver by DIIV. They both seem to take influence from grunge music, mainly the quiet-loud dynamic. There are softer moments throughout the album that build up to the climactic heavier parts. This really shows in one of my favorite songs, ‘Younger than You’. Meanwhile ‘Rental” is another song with a clear My Bloody Valentine vibe, especially from the vocals’ similarities to Bilinda Butcher’s and Kevin Shields’ whispered delivery. And ‘Vividly” even has bits of The Cure’s Disintegration, with the guitars that kick in toward the end of the song.
What make this album really great are all of the little things. When listening, you can sit back and let it all wash over you, or you can try to appreciate all the details. When you do that, the individual bits of genius really stand out. Like the drums in the verses of ‘Before You Head Off’. The playing isn’t anything super impressive, but the slow, teasing beat fits the song perfectly, giving it an almost post-rock sound. This song is beautiful and another stand-out. Another detail that I love are the little moments in ‘How Time Stretches’ when the song kind pauses for a second, with a guitar ringing out to build anticipation for the climax.
Feels Like You is definitely another stand-out album from 2019. It’s turning out to be a very strong year for shoegaze, between this and DIIV’s release. If you’re a fan of any kind of shoegaze or dream pop related music, then it’s absolutely worth your while to get this album.