Track Premiere: Perhapsy—’34th & West’

Posted: by The Editor

Derek Barber has become a go-to Bay Area guitarist for projects where the guitar is peripheral, not central. In the self-proclaimed “Afro-soul” of Bells Atlas, and the progressive vibe music of Astronauts, etc, and Madeline Kenney, Barber’s licks are intricate accents to songs that wouldn’t necessarily be described as “guitar music.” His ability to find tones and compositional shapes that blend with, for example, the shoreline breeziness of Madeline Kenney’s lounge-pop “Know,” has yielded him a versatile repertoire.

His solo output under the name Perhapsy has been similarly wide-ranging stylistically. However, on his latest and best record Kingdom Starlight Bliss (out 11/23), he stretches his six-string savviness into a fluid batch of aerial shoegaze. Unlike other modern gazers like Nothing and Cloakroom, Barber’s production and instrumental colors are explicitly reminiscent of the 90’s opuses from Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. During a blind listen, the record could conceivably be a lost relic of that era, which is both weird and amazing. More than anything, though, it speaks to Barber’s inter-generational songwriting prowess. The dude’s pushing the artform forward while also recreating, with eye-brow raising accuracy, an inimitable era of the genre’s history.

“34th & West,” which we’re premiering below, is the second single from Kingdom Starlight Bliss and it’s like the heavenly haze of Cocteau Twins meets the propulsion of Loveless. The groove is tight, the guitars are spindly, the vocals are splattered with reverb, and the hook is dangling somewhere between all three.

Stream it below and leave space in your year-end drafts for when this record drops in late November. It’s a doozy.

Kingdom Starlight Bliss is out 11/23 via Porch Party Records.

Eli Enis | @eli_enis

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