Bedroom Eyes - Honeysuckle
Midnight Werewolf Records
When I hear a band today that writes shoegaze music, I usually can be assured that they will sound something like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, Catherine Wheel, or any other staple band of the genre. Bedroom Eyes plays shoegaze, or as they call it “sneakergaze,” but they offer more than a mere reiteration of what has come before (hence their slight variation of the label). The Allston, MA four-piece outfit’s full-length on Midnight Werewolf, Honeysuckle, shows a band that has created a distinct sound, focused on fuzzy, woolly guitars, ethereal vocals, and an energetic yet relaxed rhythm section. By honing their sound to be fairly consistent and recognizable, they are free to explore emotional and textural imagery through a thickly distorted, dripping, and glistening lens.
When listening to a band that identifies with and plays in a specific genre or sound idiom, I’m wary of them exaggerating or trying too hard to fit into the style. Bedroom Eyes does neither. The sound is organic and they’re confident and comfortable with their instruments and effects, forming definable yet blended layers. The production of the recording is big and warm, allowing ample space for the vocal contours to drift around the distorted and static wall of fuzz.
Most of the songs on Honeysuckle have fluid and airy vocals; however, the lyrics are generally not the focal point in a song. The textures of the languid, drawn-out, and heady vocal melodies over beefy guitar chords create moods which go from mysterious and dark to laidback and sensual. The instrumental parts, including “(Highsummer)” and “(Deepwinter),” show Bedroom Eyes excelling at delivering tonal colors and textures through the contrast of melody and distortion.
When they are at their best, which appears very often on Honeysuckle, Bedroom Eyes give a sense of sinking to the deepest, darkest depths of a mysterious ocean, inhabited by glimmering and glowing creatures, and arriving at an otherworldly realm; or, a sense of swelling under the hot and blinding sun, and floating on a cloud of crystalline glass over the scorched earth, which reflects all of the sadness, wonder, and obscurity the world embraces.
I’ve always enjoyed seeing Bedroom Eyes perform live and this recording captures the energy and power of those experiences, while at the same time offering a narrative told through textures of dark, dense, and ghostly woods. For a band that might be seemingly easy to categorized as shoegaze and left at that, Bedroom Eyes have created a sound that is sharpened, sanguine, and cavernous. Within this sonic palette they explore all the way to the edge, offering an experience that is harder to describe, or should not be described, with a single generic word.
- Ethan Fortin