Number of Tracks:7 Vinyl Size:12-inch Revolutions:33rpm Vinyl Color:Translucent Magenta
Modern Stars new album Silver Needles is a seven-track journey reminiscent of old-school 80’s new wave and shoegaze, while taking on an ambience of its own. Between the distorted vocals and instrumentals, this is the type of album that is meant to get lost in while driving down a lonely highway at night. The band takes influences from artists such as Primal Scream, and Spacemen 3, with underlying tones that are nostalgic of older bands like the Stone Roses or Cocteau Twins.
"Lord I’m Ready," which is the band’s most played track on Spotify, kicks off the album in a wave of dreamy harmonies escalating into groovy guitar riffs and steady drumbeats, and let’s not forget the deeply hypnotic main vocals taking control of the song. "Lord I’m Ready" sets the theme for the rest of the album, although to say it’s all the same would be a lie. While the next track follows suit very similarly in sound, the third track "She Comes Now" echoes in a moodier indie frequency, making good use of a tambourine and immersing the listener into their own soundtrack-equipped world.
"Space and Time" begins in a sharp melodic twang, often heard in middle eastern folk songs. The stringed instrument carries the riff throughout the song, daring the other instrumentals to follow lead before drifting into another entrancing melody that follows into "Jesus Walks Alone." The album’s fifth track doesn’t refrain from using a heavier bass line and a more pronounced drumbeat which plays along as the vocalist croons and repeats the title.
Incoherent chatter amongst a loud drawl introduces "Side By Side," where the harmonies and distortion that inhabit the rest of the album are soon to join in, creating a memorably contagious rhythm. Silver Needles concludes with the funky space-like celebration that is "Hey Man," a fun song to dance along and bop your head to.
Silver Needles is groovy. Hypnotic.The album holds layers of varying structures and unique sounds, a brave, experimental symphony that includes elements of indie, funk, grunge, and shoe-gaze. Modern Stars may be heavy on the distortion (which at times makes it a challenge to understand what the lyrics are), but this album gives off a warm ambience, a therapeutic session for your ears. Whether your idea of therapy is riding down that long lonely highway, meditating in your bedroom alone, or sharing a cigarette with a friend, this is an album worth playing in the background.
I'm Music Magazine Contributing Writer Alice Kearney