Gumshen - 'Digibites'

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, I’m going to be checking out the band Gumshen and their new record, ‘Digibites.’ The album is a follow-up to their 2014 release, ‘Progtronica.’ The band is an alternative indie fusion band that mixes progressive styles with electronica and pop. They hail from Seattle.

They describe this record an as exploration of sorts, one through the worlds of popular music and EDM. That becomes immediately apparent, but their music is even more complex than your typical EDM. In addition to heavy synths and a prominent drum machine, some keys, guitar, and vocals are intermixed throughout. I dig this, because it gives the record a few more layers of substance. When you hit the keys solo on the latter half of ‘A Scene Like That,’ you know you’re in for a very original ride.

‘Latency Head’ is a beautifully performed track; the climactic attack of the synthesizers combined with layering of vocal pieces makes for a truly intriguing listening experience. It’s nice to see an EDM group that pulls inspiration from such a wide variety of influences. There’s some new wave influence in there, too. Tracks like ‘Talk to Me’ sound like they’re off a Talking Heads or Joy Division record.

‘Cut From the Cloth’ is my personal favorite track. That track in particular is wonderfully creative. I adore the vocal and lyrical performance. It feels like a hard-hitting rock track more than it does EDM or pop. I’d love to see Gumshen explore this style even more, it’s an absolute treat as you come to the close of the record.

I thoroughly enjoyed all ten tracks of the ‘Digibites’ experience. It’s an eclectic sound that pulls the best of a handful of influences in a way that is unique and exciting. The album is a futuristic soundscape riddled with impressive production and catchy songs. As the summer of 2015 approaches, this is the independent record to put on your playlist.

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