Aura Blaze is a dream pop/shoegaze/psych pop venture began by producer and instrumentalist Rhode Rachel together with his Zappa-esque 2015 debut self-titled album. Clearly influenced by early psy-and-surf-rock like the Beach Boys, King Crimson and The Doors with a tinge of psychobilly a’la The Cramps, Aura Blaze’s type again then was huge and daring and, energetically was kind of a retro-styled match to The Polyphonic Spree. This enormous, orchestral sound solely comes out of 1 particular person, nevertheless, so it’s not shocking that Rachel has made a reputation for himself in multiple indie style.

While the debut album was nearly all analog rock, it’s additionally not shocking together with his cinematic, larger-than-life, Spector-esque wall of sound type that with subsequent releases, Aura Blaze would go on to include digital strategies. 2019’s The Sparkling Black confirmed extra apparent digital play each in sound design in synths, in addition to a wholesome lashing of Jethro Tull-style prog rock. 2020 noticed his subsequent single “The Plight of the Soul Ablaze in the Face of Mortal Drudgery” – attempt to say that 5 occasions quick – proceed this trajectory each with prog-style storytelling and psychedelic wisps of sound however including much more synths and sound design.


A concentrate on esoteric and non secular throwback vibes with psychedelic music appeared to be galvanizing as Aura Blaze’s type by the afore-mentioned super-long title, but it surely took a tough flip, or reasonably, an evolutionary step, with Rachel’s subsequent monitor, “Trans-Dimensional Palm Tree.” Switching to a extra 90s The Cure-style guitar, maudlin tones and masses extra ambient sound design, Rachel’s vocals grew to become softer and extra drone-like to match, conjuring Ian-Curtis-on-his-meds (or only a baritone Ian Brown, perhaps?) vibes. The music was rather more shoegaze and dream pop than psych rock. Modernized however nonetheless getting his astral level throughout, “Trans-Dimensional Palm Tree” made an affect and remains to be amongst the most streamed tracks on Aura Blaze’s Spotify web page.

Flash ahead to Open-Mindedness, Aura Blaze’s newest EP providing which dropped final month on Christmas Eve, Rachel has stored that shoegaze vein however re-incorporated the psych rock and much more kinds into the two unique tracks. The title monitor is simply as operatic and grand as Rachel’s earlier work however the cool put up punk vocal tenor and chord progressions are nonetheless there in spades. There’s additionally progressive bass work, 80s type synths and even a little bit of late-era disco tying the larger, theatrical sounds to the smooth vox. “The Summer Solstice,” in the meantime, pays homage to Aural Blaze’s 60s-psych roots with Doors-style organ synths and surf rock melodies, all whereas Rachel lyrically pays homage to the solar as a literal “Aura Blaze.”

The final monitor on Open-Mindedness, if any readers doubted this long-suffering shoegaze nerd creator’s potential to pick such affect from a contemporary artist’s work, is a canopy of “The Only One I Know” by The Charlatans UK. Arguably an icon of 90s Brit Rock and shoegaze, The Charlatans had been additionally closely influenced by 60s mod-and-psych rock, so there. Rachel’s model of The Charlatans’ largest hit may correctly be known as a remix, as he provides a great deal of much more spacey-sounding ambient sound design to the monitor’s unique construction (probably even the unique stems) and extra ornamentation round the synths, making it much more theatrical and wall-of-soundey than the unique. It’s a grandiose replace of the basic and he greater than does it justice.

With all the kinds and sounds Rachel as Aura Blaze incorporates into his work and all the totally different instructions he’s already taken stated work, one factor that hasn’t change and certain gained’t is his message. While psych rock, shoegaze, dream pop et al. all have a kind of woo high quality and are fairly esoteric, Aura Blaze goes past simply trippy musings. His lyrics and philosophy are entrenched in spirituality and excessive vibration expression, and he sees his music as merely a supply system. A extremely advanced, diversified and expertly- produced supply system, however a supply system nonetheless. With nearly infinite avenues to create stated system, there are additionally infinite prospects on the place he’ll go subsequent together with his sound, however will probably be assured to be lush, potent and heavy on the contextual Astral Blaze.

Open-Mindedness is out not on the well-known psych pop label Cleopatra Records. Stream it and Astral Blaze’s full discography on Spotify or click on right here to stream or buy on different platforms.

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