The meeting place between shoegazer and dance music is one that has proven wildly successful, but arrived upon all too infrequently. My Bloody Valentine’s “Soon” is the most sublime example of just how mesmerizing a heavy swath of effects-treated guitars can be when backed with propulsive, high energy beats. Likewise, Caribou’s Dan Snaith has explored this realm on Up In Flames and on subsequent releases, with compelling variations each time out. But New York’s Soundpool is one of the rare bands that can actually lay claim to being a shoegazer disco band, rather than one that merely sprinkles their songs with like elements.
On their newest album Mirrors In Your Eyes, Soundpool pair their fuzzy dream pop sound with hedonistic funk, creating deliciously danceable anthems like the album’s blissful title track. Wah-wah guitar subtly scratches beneath a hazy sheen, while Kim Fields sings a druggy siren song between its ethereal ribbons of melody. “But It’s So,” meanwhile, eases off the distortion while beefing up the funk, resulting in a hallucinatory Studio 54 hybrid. “Kite of Love” is utterly gorgeous, finding a delicate balance between swirling guitars and hip gyrations, while “Makes No Sense” substitutes big, throbbing synthesizers for steel strings. And “Sparkle In the Dark” is one of the most intriguing compositions, taking Garbage’s blueprint on “Stupid Girl” and getting it soused and slutty and ready for a night of pleasurable mistakes.
The ideas that Soundpool blends together on Mirrors In Your Eyes all work together so magnificently, it’s enough to make you wonder why few have made as much of a commitment to this idea in the past. Ulrich Schnauss has called Soundpool the “best fucking band in the world,” and while I may not necessarily use those exact words, I can appreciate the enthusiasm. Music that feels this good is bound to elicit wild bouts of hyperbole.
My Bloody Valentine – Glider
Air – Talkie Walkie
A Sunny Day In Glasgow – Ashes Grammar
Video: “Mirrors In Your Eyes”
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.