Midway through ‘Basketball Casino’, the opening track on Gleemer’s atmospheric gem ‘Anymore’, a guitar rips through the lazy, lilting fog. It’s a moment of clarity, pulled kicking and screaming into focus – and it’s thoroughly exhilarating.
This moment is Gleemer in microcosm; 90s atmospheric indie-rock seen through a soft-focus lens and coloured by bold strokes of pulsating noise. In a saturated scene of bands looking back on the glory days of emo and shoegaze, it’s enough to mark Gleemer out as trailblazers, pulling from the darker and more esoteric moments of the past to craft something new and exciting.
In particular, the first half of ‘Anymore’ is a riot of hazy, chiming guitars and hushed vocals. It’s introspective stuff, with Corey Coffman’s vocals barely breaking a mumble and leaving you straining to hear every syllable. The result is an album that sounds like it has come from another world, let alone another time. In an era where pointed messaging seems to make the most noise, it’s a much-needed change of pace, powerful and emotive but backed by unwavering resolve.
At times, this cloistered intimacy feels suffocating – ‘Cooler Pt 2’ is so personal it feels voyeuristic to let it linger too long in the mind – yet it is a deft piece of songwriting, ratcheting up the tension musically as it progresses.
The second half of the record feels like a comfortable of groove, but is no less gorgeous for it, expansive and progressive as it grows to fill the space. The brittle ‘Porcelain’ and sparse ‘Not Around’, for example, are bombastic epics performed in miniature, and proof Gleemer don’t need to rely on a successful formula to make their mark.
The result is an album that you can get entirely lost in; it’s gentle melodies enveloping you like a blanket. Yet it possesses a heart-breaking beauty and fragility that is fleeting and poetic. The last great album of 2017? Undoubtedly…
‘Anymore’ by Gleemer is out now on Other People Records.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)