Nicole Yun is best known as the frontwoman of the Virginia-based ethereal rock trio Eternal Summers, but after years lost in the haze of the shoegaze scene, she has come out the other side with a stellar new pop-rock solo album called Paper Suit. Yun rode guitar-first into the music world on a resurgence wave of reverb-heavy 50’s and 60’s surf rock mixed with post-punk growl happening in the mid to late 00’s with bands like Best Coast and Dum Dum Girls. Although, even on the last Eternal Summers album she was on the road to change as looser, lighter textures could be gleamed. Now, she is navigating into even brighter and crisper territory with a different kind of 90’s indie tint of the likes of Velocity Girl, Elastica, Letters To Cleo, Swirlies, Belly, and Stars. She clearly knows her musical trajectory, and it feels as though her journey has just begun.
The Wrens’ frontman Charles Bissell opened the show with a downright stunning set of classics and new trippy ambient masterpieces. Bissell just recovered from cancer treatments a few years back, and since then he’s been teasing a long-awaited follow-up to The Wrens’ 2005 The Meadowlands, but he has only recently began playing solo shows again. The closest he had previously come to touring over the last decade was a few shows as Wrenses Alien with Cymbals Eat Guitars as his backing band a couple years back, so it really was a special treat to witness this sorcerer’s sonic wizardry in person this night. He layers sounds in a swelling tempest of ethers utilizing a dizzying array of pedals to produce a brilliant soundscape on which to tango a catchy tune upon. I hope to catch him again soon as he really is a musical treasure to behold.
Then it came time for Nicole Yun’s official release into the solo wilderness, and she ruled the night with a bewitching brilliance all her own. Her new album has lots of impressive guest stars, like Ava Luna’s Julian Fader, Nada Surf and Guided By Voices’ Doug Gillard, Cloud Nothings’ Joe Boyer, Maximo Park’s Duncan Lloyd, and Bleeding Rainbow’s Rob Garcia producing, and yet this new spell of her career is distinctly all her own. Her guitar virtuosity was on full shred and her enchanting harmonies were seductive as she guided her band through what seemed to be her entire new album, with gorgeous new tracks like the lead single “Supernatural Babe,” “Destroy Me,” and my new fave jam called “Maximum.”
The show rounded out with the local shoegazey trio Peel Dream Magazine. They have an ambient aura about their songs, as they drift in and out of perception and build up to some very mellow grooves. There are some airy whiffs of 80’s and 90’s gazers in the mingle like Stereolab, Jesus & Mary Chain, Spacemen 3, and The Beta Band, and the results sounded heavenly, and it is all very sweetly tasty. I can now say that hearing their recent debut album Modern Meta Physic is like slipping on your most comfortable slippers and falling into a bed full of the softest pillows imaginable.
Article: Dean Keim