Kindling – Sunspots (Stream)
by Steven Spoerl
Towards the end of last month, Easthampton duo Kindling set about releasing one of the best unheralded 7″s of the year so far with Spike & Wave. The duo, made up of Stephen Pierce and Gretchen Williams, leans heavily on shoegaze while not completely abandoning fuzzy outsider pop, in a vein not too dissimilar from site favorites Joanna Gruesome. Spike & Wave is limited to 300 copies on lavender vinyl, courtesy of Moon Sounds Records, and- because of songs like “Sunspots”- it’s worth snagging a copy before they’re gone.
All four songs on Spike & Wave are extraordinary in their own right but it’s the second track that defines the release. “Sunspots” has all of the requisite heaviness, tension, and swirling dream-like unease that characterizes the best shoegaze, while fully embracing a near-twee pop sensibility which they manage to keep grounding. Reverb cloaks the majority of the instrumentation, granting it a blown-out and completely wide-open feel that’s as welcoming as it is daunting. Totaling a mere two minutes and 25 seconds, it’s a masterstroke of genre craftsmanship and announces Kindling as an act to watch out for.
Listen to “Sunspots” below and pick up a copy of Spike & Wave from Moon Sounds Records here.