It's hard to put a finger on exactly what's pulsing in the world of underground shoegaze pop, but it seems to sound an awful lot like the hazy, languid rock of San Francisco's Young Prisms. Heavy, droning, swirly, fuzzy, gothic, melancholy, and cathartic, Young Prisms' music is reflective of an '80s sound that was the antithesis to the skinny-tie buoyancy of synth-happy new wave. This five-piece channels the likes of My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Curve, Slowdive, and (thanks to the dreamy, atmospheric vocals of Stefanie Hodapp) the Cocteau Twins. "Stay Awake" captures that pre-sleep feeling with its near-feedbacking guitar over single pulsing organ notes and airy vocals, while "Runner" takes a page straight from the JMC songbook (circa the late-period Hope Sandoval era) with a driving beat, repeating hypnotic guitar lines and faraway wail; "Midnight's When" swirls and grinds, giving way to uplifting moments, as "Floating in Blue" rides a mesmerizing blend of fuzzed-out guitars, cascading drums, static-y synths and behind-the-eyes voice. The shoegazer movement never died, but Young Prisms certainly breathes new life into the genre.
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