Reviews

San Diego Synth-Pop Act Glass Spells Examine a Love Gone Wrong and More with “Shattered”

Glass Spells have released their new nostalgia-soaked album, Shattered. Here, the band’s haunting yet futuristic synth melodies and palpitating beats are paired with luminous female vocals that soar with a sense of longing, altogether creating a dreamscape oeuvre of a love gone sour.

The album opens with the pulsing “Thrills”, which shivers with analogue synths and mid-80s dancefloor beats, conjuring an idealized dream world with scathing lyrics.

Die the way
You left inside
Pride won’t save
Your bitter heart

The record then moves immediately into “Confessions”, which feels seamlessly fused with the opener. Shattered takes a more melancholy stance, planting itself solidly in classic 80s ballad territory. “We Never Sleep” is an introspective, insomnia-fueled fever dream. “Fears” is the kind of track you would have dreamily sung into a hairbrush at a sleepover in 1988; “City” drags you into the hypnosis of scanning the late-night streets as you sleepily zip around in a cab. “Psychic Lovers” continues the trend with a more bombastic bass line. “Night Hours echoes the urban nightlife intertwined with emotional sentiment of romantic entanglement; “No One To Trust” is an unsettling lament; the closing track, “Say It”, is a powerfully explosive demand with pleading vocals and pure rage.

Glass Spells are Anthony Ramirez (Instrumentals), Tania Costello (Vocals), and Michael Buehl (live drums). The band has garnered critical acclaim in the underground music scene by their signature sound, which fuses a melange of styles culled from the best of classic indie, post-punk, darkwave, and modern synthpop. Their haunting rhythms and melodies linger like fog on the dance floor.

Listen below or on Spotify:

Glass Spells’ Shattered is out now via Negative Gain.

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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