Chicago’s Gentle Heat have shared the final preview off their forthcoming sophomore album, the blisteringly catchy “WDYG”. The Chicago quintet are stepping out on their first record for Flesh & Bone Records, the 9-track Sheer, out this Friday. Led by David Algrim, the group make compelling, noisey pop that pulls from shoegaze, post-punk and dream pop, sitting somewhere between contemporaries like Ovlov, and touchstones like Swirlies and Sonic Youth.
“WDYG” follows singles “Total Orbit” & “Closer II”, all three tracks showcasing the bands penchant for economic, harmony laden songs drenched in feedback and pop smarts. On the new single, Algrim explains, “WDYG is a song about daydreaming and drifting off for better or worse. I have a tendency when I’m over-caffeinated or in a bleak mood, to drift into worst case scenarios or any other hypothetical situation. It’s less about specifically dark or dreary thoughts and more so about where I tend to go when my mind wanders.”
With their newest release Sheer, Gentle Heat reaffirms this commitment with surgical efficiency. Even the most formless sounds have purpose; ethereal soundscapes give way to humming, knotted feedback. The addition of vocalist/ keyboardist Sarah Clausen has enabled the project to dive deeper into the ambient aspects of their sound, blending the record into a knotted cohesive piece.
On Sheer, Gentle Heat pares down their formula to the point that every piece becomes essential and immediate even as they are weaving together layers of sound. According to guitarist/ vocalist David Algrim, “The idea for this project has always been to create sonically dense music viewed through the lens of pop structure. With Sheer, the goal was to refine that concept to its most concise form.” The result is a dynamic sound as likely to excite seasoned shoegaze listeners as it is to turn new heads in the back of the venue bar.
Photo Courtesy: Vanessa Valadez