If I had to classify Nostalgist by their new song titled “Present: tense” alone, I would have to say it was a delectable dirty-shoegaze. This song is a driving musical mudslide down the cliff of sonic decadence with pounding and driving guitars kept in place only by the tight rhythm section. What a beautiful mess.
The ‘Disaffection’ album, featuring the single ‘Present:Tense’, will be released on March 19, 2018 on vinyl and digitally on March 30 via the band’s own Nostalgium Directive label.
Formed in 2012, Nostalgist is led by Asa Eisenhardt (vocals and guitar). ‘Disaffection’ follows ‘Of Loves and Days Ago’ (2015) and 2013’s ‘Monochromantic’ EP, which was engineered, mixed and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, King Woman, Tony Molina).
Recorded and mixed throughout 2016 and 2017, every track on ‘Disaffection’ features great contributions by renowned drummer Aesop Dekker (Khorada, Worm Ouroboros, Extremity, ex-Agalloch). More recently, in the fall of 2017, Alex Entrekin joined as the new drummer, building on Dekker’s crushing performances while bringing nuances and twists all his own. Monte McCleery (also of Seattle funeral doom outfit Un) is currently filling in on bass.
Nostalgist’s brand of heavy, ethereal post-punk is informed by bands like Lowlife, Slowdive, Lycia, Comsat Angels, The Chameleons, Killing Joke, Fields of the Nephilim, Hum, and Red House Painters.
“I was a few months into writing songs entirely on my own – something that I’d barely ever worked at before. I was also hurting, fresh off of the disintegration of an unstable and short-lived period of intimacy that never congealed into a relationship,” explains Asa Eisenhardt about lead track ‘Present:Tense’.
“The verses largely regard that time, and are my most stream-of-consciousness lyrics to date, though still couched in the grey dream imagery I’m always trying to evoke. The chorus, however, is really the essence of the tune: perseverance through hardship, while recognizing the weight and inevitability of heartache. ‘I will dream again’ is such a stupidly simple line, but the implied resolve is important.”
That prism of emotional openness continues a throughline from the band’s beginnings. Since its inception, Nostalgist’s sonic blend has been equal parts swirling riffs, expansive shoegaze atmospheres, and airy post-punk isolation, combined with a romantic, self-questioning lyrical bent and cinematic themes. Lush layers of warm guitar fuzz and shimmering reverb interweave with melodic bass, intricate drums, and evocative, determined vocals, tempering the music’s melancholy with just a slight sliver of hope.
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Nostalgist crafts lush and powerfully intense distortion-laden dream rock riffs. A love of film noir, a sense of isolation and a decidedly romantic aesthetic shine through what are generally vulnerable lyrics. Eisenhardt’s talents in post-punk song-crafting are illuminated in the darkest moments with the warm, glowing embers of nebulous shoegaze.
The outfit’s latest output only further refines these sounds and ideas. “When writing ‘Disaffection,’ my sights were firmly set on creating a handful of focused, memorable songs that crystallized everything I’ve wanted Nostalgist to be, to the best and most thorough degree possible. It’s a mission statement on the direction of everything to come,” says Eisenhardt.
“A beacon of hope for shoegaze’s future”
“Straddling an intense and coveted border between shoegaze and post-punk… This is the music we’ve all been longing for ever since Catherine Wheel dissolved… Eisenhardt’s vocal stylings and timbre are so strikingly similar to Catherine Wheel singer Rob Dicksonson, but with that deep throatal element that made The Damned’s Dave Vanian so well loved”
– Big Takeover Magazine
“Their brooding brand of shoegaze never admits sunshine is possible. But they wear their gloom lightly, which allows their songs to achieve a kind of dejected ascension”
– The Stranger
“One of the most unique permutations this genre has ever produced…and best of all, it practically demands repeat listens… blissful bludgeoning”
– Wilfully Obscure