Citrus Clouds: Imagination (bandcamp)

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The Sun is in My Eyes
Citrus Clouds: Imagination (bandcamp)

Recently Elsewhere has happily noted the resurgence of shoegaze . . . but this band which formed in Phoenix about five years ago has their own variant on that description.

Their imprimatur on bandcamp – presumably written by themselves – is “desertgaze”.

That'll do these ears . . .  because this trio has that wide sonic vista we'd associated with bands like the Meat Puppets and Giant Sand (from not dissimilar landscapes)  . . . but Citrus Clouds also has the dense guitarscapes like the best of British shoegaze.

It's telling that a few years back they covered My Bloody Valentine's Come In Alone from their classic shoegaze album Loveless, and the House of Love's Christine.

However whereas some of the British bands delivered a strenuous and often unleavened monochromatic intensity, Citrus Clouds enjoy shifting dynamics from the enormity of the psychedelic The Sun is My Eyes (it's Arizona, right) --  which sounds like Jesus and Mary Chain covering an obscure Jefferson Airplane song -- to the more dream-pop of Make A Life and the loud but languidly weary Always Tomorrow.

As always with shoegaze, many of these songs hit that midpoint between drone and melody but they also fire off taut, almost staccato power-pop on the driving Shapes and Things where Stacie Huttleston steps up to the mic in place of writer/singer Erick Pineda (who has a bit of Morrissey angst about him).

As she does on Be Eternal.

And having that extra voice available adds diversity to these 10 economic songs (although the brittle Monsoon Daze which closes things reach well past the five minute mark).

There's an early Chills quality to Bright Lights, albeit with some snappy country-style guitar twang.

Imagination is the second album by Citrus Clouds (if we are reading bandcamp correctly) and you can get it from here in one of those “name your price” offers.

Be generous. 

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