With their concept EP, No Goodbyes (via 80N7), released earlier this year, Moving Away is Gleemer’s second release this year and third LP overall. Originally a solo project by the band’s frontman Corey Coffman, he began recording and mixing material while working as an assistant engineer at Atlantic Studio Sounds in Brooklyn, NY. He recorded much of the band’s early material by himself with help from his friend Matt Roberts. The expanded line-up (a first for a Gleemer LP) features Roberts on guitar and keys, Charlie O’Neil on bass and percussion, and Graham Moore on drums
Embarking a much darker tone, Moving Away (via 80N7) is the Colorado quartet’s heaviest batch of songs to date, propelled by feelings of misery and regret. With a full band line up, Coffman and company slightly modifies the wispy dream pop that was prominent on the lucid Holyland USA and Death Sky, Soft Eye, with a bleaker variant of shoegaze that’s Slowdive meets American Football.
The moody opener, “Gauze,” is pressed by palm-muted chunking, patient drums, and faintly lit synth hums. The slow churning verse convenes into a lush tide of hazy guitars saturated in gloom. Kaleidoscopic standout “Heater” is the record’s brightest number, brimming with scorching hooks at the chorus while juxtaposing Coffman recollecting a past relationship’s crumbling point, “and while I was kissing you were spinning daydreams.” The decelerated pace of “Fall Out” cradles with a nice balance of punchy and atmospheric guitar work coupled with Coffman’s morose vocals (“your pictures of love / not enough to keep me sober”). The brooding “Lilly” is teeming with towering riffs that are a nod to the tranquil doom of Mogwai, while the serene “Cool Back” acts an interlude that’s stripped back to guitars and airy drone.
Much of the record’s heart-rendering components derive from Coffman’s emotional purging, trudging through the aftermath of a dissolved relationship and the difficulties forward. Phantom feelings come up on the vulnerable “Champ,” (“and I could feel your hands move through that river / across my chest for the last time”) mixed with bleak admissions (“you were right all that time / to feel like nothing you said made a difference”).
Sporting heavenly guitar bylines, the scenic “Dragging” is enshroud in muddled mystic right until the band breaks into a frenzied junction of sustained guitar rips and soaring brass. Coffman’s catharsis is honest and blunt, (“I spend a lot of time / thinking of the way I let my parents down”) and so very real until the last note of the closer “Long Hair” (“It was like you said I stayed up for months / will this damn headache open up for once?”).
Despite being a personal record, Moving Away deals with experiences that are very universal. Touching on the fundamentals of being human, the record shows that cycling through the pain can be a beautiful thing.
Cereal Pairing: Hemp Granola while sitting on a rooftop at 2AM, staring at the night sky