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Polaroids of Polarbears - EP Review: This Is What I Heard

02 Mar 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

This 22-minute-long 5-track EP is the latest release from Daniel Brown, proudly recorded in his shed, in Feilding with Daniel providing guitars, drums and vocals. For those who have previously not come across Polaroids of Polarbears, this is lo-fi which combines shoegaze, post punk, Simple Minds and ambient styles in a way that is naively engaging.

Although there is little in the way of aggression, for some reason Polaroids of Polarbears remind me of The Undertones, a band who John Peel felt released the best song of all-time in Teenage Kicks. There is something about the approach, albeit slowed down greatly, which is reminiscent of Feargal and the boys. But instead of the punk it is more laid back, moving very much into the more ambient and (whisper it) New Age stylings. The vocals are kept deliberately low in the mix, so they become almost part of the minimalist music, and on songs such as April 11 2020 one has to turn the volume up to hear what is going on, but even then it is quiet and it actually feels wrong to have it too loud. The music is creating an emotional reaction, of something that is delicate and fragile and if one makes the wrong move it is all going to fracture and fall away. That particular number is the last on the EP, and is also the longest at eight minutes. It is one of the slowest builders I have come across, as by the end everything is cranked up and it feels like the band are set to explode.

I say "band" as this never comes across as a solo project, but rather something which has been carefully constructed by a group of people in the studio and the more I play it the more I find within it, with layered guitars that at times are reminiscent of New Order, and a feeling that somehow the world is safe while this is being played, like being wrapped in cotton wool. The production and instrumentation are deliberate, and there is the feeling of little in the way of space although there is clear separation of the instruments. This is lo-fi and DIY to the core, and I would not wish it any other way.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )
 

About Polaroids of Polarbears

Polaroids of Polarbears is D.Brown in his shed, in Feilding with Guitars and Drums. Solo project low fi and cheaply made with a smile




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Polaroids of Polarbears

Releases

This Is What I Heard
Year: 2021
Type: EP
Breathe In
Year: 2020
Type: Album
Polaroids of Polarbears
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Polaroids of Polarbears
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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