LA-based post-punk group Glaare offer up a pitch-perfect encapsulation of how to make 80s and 90s styles feel fresh and renewed on their excellent debut. To Deaf and Day finds the group trafficking in a surprisingly wide array of styles throughout: post-punk, darkwave, shoegaze, synthwave, and even dream pop. It’s all tied together wonderfully by Rachael Pierce’s gloomy yet soulful vocals. The meld of sounds results in a beautifully hazy half-hour.
Some of that dreaminess results in a trance-like listen, though that’s really the album’s only major fault. The use of atmosphere is excellent, but sometimes it’s overpowering and makes the songs blend together more than they actually do. Each track is impressive on its own and has either a nice beat (“First Rain” and “Desiree”) or a great melody (“My Love Grows in Darkness”), but those standout moments feel dulled because of how similar the record is in its execution, even if Glaare do a great job of keeping To Deaf and Day a diverse record. The record gives me the same feeling I have when I watched the hauntingly beautiful film, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. This post-punk-ified Iranian Vampire Western is shot in black and white (how I imagine the scenes from this record would be filmed) and so much of the movie emphasizes stunning cinematography and a lush atmosphere over plot or dialogue. It’s a movie where I recall how awed I was at the artistic display more than I am remembering a ton of actual details about the film.
That’s exactly how To Deaf and Day makes me feel: this is a truly impressive work of dream pop that excels at creating a wonderfully haunting atmosphere. It just runs together a little too much (my guess is that was on purpose) to allow me to recall a ton of vivid detail. Glaare are masters at creating evocative soundscapes that demand you feel something while you’re sobbing and shaking your hips. That’s what will stick with me more than individual melodies or song bits.