Way Out West: Floating Room

Posted: by The Editor

FFO: Jay Som, Slowdive, Duster

Floating Room 2

(Photo by Claire Gunville)

This past week my grandfather passed away. I tell you this in the interest of relating to you, (whoever you are), but also in order to better convey the points I will make in my following writing. In the muddled mess of emotions I was feeling, I turned to the music of the band that I knew would best console me – Floating Room. If you’ve ever wanted to feel wrapped up inside of music in the same way you would feel wrapped up inside of a warm blanket, s u n l e s s  is for you. Hailing from Portland, Oregon the grey and overcast picture that is painted by the music comes across as strangely comforting. Being from Portland myself, the image is a familiar one. Yet somehow, within this dark and cold image that s u n l e s s  conveys, there is a light.


Vocalist and guitarist Maya Stoner’s voice is best described as angelic, and parts the seas of the all enveloping sounds which accompany it. She sings of the pain and despair which accompany the loss of anything, but particularly a relationship. What separates their lyrical content from the generic emo or shoegaze pack, is the vulnerability and the perspective. The listener experiences said pain and despair through the eyes and experiences of Stoner, a feminine figure, expressing raw and honest emotion; and that expression isn’t particularly spiteful or immature like much of common emo or pop punk music. Floating Room is poetic while avoiding all typical poetic tropes, and rather, s u n l e s s  can be characterized by its eloquence and pure beauty. There’s an unparalleled depth, honesty, and a warmth to Floating Room. Guitarist Kyle Bates helps create the surrounding hazy sounds of the music, that feel at times distant, and at other times all encompassing. Tracks like “Bed” and “Sick Day” are stripped down and sound empty in a haunting way while “Fun” and “Dead Weight” seem to fill the room and command your attention. Floating Room captures both the feeling of the sadness itself, as well as the comfort and consoling we yearn for in those moments of sadness.

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