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New Artist Spotlight: Aura Blaze Calls for ‘Open-Mindedness’ in the Rock/EDM Crossover World

Aura Blaze is a dream pop/shoegaze/psych pop undertaking 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 just like the Beach Boys, King Crimson and The Doors with a tinge of psychobilly a’la The Cramps, Aura Blaze’s fashion again then was large and daring and, energetically was type of a retro-styled match to The Polyphonic Spree. This enormous, orchestral sound solely comes out of 1 individual, nonetheless, so it’s not stunning that Rachel has made a reputation for himself in a couple of indie style.

Whereas the debut album was nearly all analog rock, it’s additionally not stunning together with his cinematic, larger-than-life, Spector-esque wall of sound fashion that with subsequent releases, Aura Blaze would go on to include digital strategies. 2019’s The Glowing 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 within the Face of Mortal Drudgery” – attempt to say that 5 instances quick – proceed this trajectory each with prog-style storytelling and psychedelic wisps of sound however including much more synths and sound design.

A give attention to esoteric and religious throwback vibes with psychedelic music appeared to be galvanizing as Aura Blaze’s fashion by the afore-mentioned super-long title, however it took a tough flip, or moderately, 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 far more shoegaze and dream pop than psych rock. Modernized however nonetheless getting his astral level throughout, “Trans-Dimensional Palm Tree” made an influence and continues to be among the many 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 types into the 2 unique tracks. The title monitor is simply as operatic and grand as Rachel’s earlier work however the cool publish punk vocal tenor and chord progressions are nonetheless there in spades. There’s additionally progressive bass work, 80s fashion synths and even a little bit of late-era disco tying the larger, theatrical sounds to the mushy vox. “The Summer time Solstice,” in the meantime, pays homage to Aural Blaze’s 60s-psych roots with Doorways-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 skill 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 have been additionally closely influenced by 60s mod-and-psych rock, so there. Rachel’s model of The Charlatans’ largest hit might 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 (presumably even the unique stems) and extra ornamentation across 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 of the types and sounds Rachel as Aura Blaze incorporates into his work and all of the completely different instructions he’s already taken mentioned work, one factor that hasn’t change and certain gained’t is his message. Whereas psych rock, shoegaze, dream pop et al. all have a type 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, various and expertly- produced supply system, however a supply system nonetheless. With nearly infinite avenues to create mentioned 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 here to stream or buy on different platforms.

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