Song 1 of 19 in the …One Last Kiss retread, otherwise known as After the Last Kiss…
Boston band the Swirlies kicked off the …One Last Kiss compilation with their catchy Chris R. It had elements of dreampop but was decidedly lo-fi, but that’s kind of what made it so endearing. Seana Carmody’s voice sounded similar to Sarah Shannon’s of Velocity Girl, but a little more understated. The Swirlies first three CD releases What to Do About (compiling early singles) them, Blonder Tongue Audio Baton (first proper album) and Brokedick Car (remixes) were all worth getting. After that Carmody left the band to start Syrup USA. The Swirlies continued on signing up new members in what seemed to be a revolving cast of members. You can download entire albums from the Swirlies website, including the three that I mentioned.
mp3: Swirlies – Chris R
So who would fit into the lead off spot for One Last Kiss 2008 or After the Last Kiss if you will? Panda Riot have been compared to the Swirlies and they have a similar take on UK dreampop, except they do it with a drum machine. The band started off in Philadelphia as a duo and have since moved to Chicago and added a third member. So now they’re a trio plus drum machine, but they seem to have an indie aesthetic that doesn’t paint their songs as too canned or overproduced. They like to use lots of guitar effects but the melodies are at the forefront, something a lot of the current crop of shoegazers often neglect. They self released their first album at the end of last year, it’s called She Dares All Things. Here’s my pick for track number one.
mp3: Panda Riot – Like Flowers At Night (from She Dares All Things)
You can also download some tracks they did for a WOXY session. Panda Riot also have some summer tour dates scheduled, including an appearance at this year’s Athens Popfest.
Aug 7 Rehab (formerly Club Midway) NY, New York
Aug 8 Metro gallery Baltimore, Maryland
Aug 10 M Room Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Aug 13 Athens Popfest August 13-16 Athens, Georgia
Aug 23 KALAMASHOEGAZE Kalamazoo, Michigan