The conversation surrounding Alcest’s love affair with shoegaze, blackgaze, pop, whatever you want to call it, has overshadowed the actual merit of their sound for years now. Discounting the snoozefest that was ‘Shelter’, Neige and co. possess a back catalogue that transcends labels, instead focusing on genuine creative musicianship. Latest edition ‘Kodama’ is a tale of Neige’s love affair with Japan and its culture. Each song flows naturally, telling its story with a progression that doesn’t rely on repetition. The actual shoegaze passages are light and tranquil, but not so that the heavier parts of vocals and more aggressively played instrumentals sound abrasive, in fact the heavier moments of ‘Kodama’ have a deep seated sadness the lends a gentle quality to the music. Leave your preconceptions at the door and enjoy what is neither a return to roots or anything ground breaking for Alcest – it simply is what it is.
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