Review: Gold Celeste – The Glow

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Gold Celeste's debut is elegantly put together, encapsulating soft psychedelic pop with magical precision.

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The Glow is the debut album from Oslo-based trio Gold Celeste. It emerges from 60s psychedelic pop inflections that will likely draw comparisons to the introverted psychedelic rock of Tame Impala, but there’s something softer and more magical about the band’s sound. Their name stems from the play of colours and lights in the sky right after sunrise and just before sunset, and the magical quality of The Glow captures it perfectly.

‘Can Of Worms’ softly reverberates into life with muffled chattering and dreamy synth undulations, before a quick drum beat brings things into focus. As an opener, it’s a bit lengthy, but there is something entrancing about Gold Celeste’s tone. With ‘Open Your Eyes’ comes something more upbeat, creating a sunshine filled track; there’s nothing forced or straining about listening to this band. Their tracks seamlessly flow from one to the other, keeping a consistent tone of soft psychedelia. Carefully picked guitars ease us into ‘Time Of Your Life’, but as the track gets going it gives way to groovy guitar slides that give it more body and add something exciting midway through the album. The slow paced vocals of Simen Hallset remain present throughout, with something of a lullaby quality about them.

The lenghty tracks of the album are offset by the dispersion of ‘Pastures’ and ‘On The Brink’, both acting as interludes of under a minute long. The instrumental tracks break up the album, with ‘On The Brink’ amping up the pace before its closer, ‘The Start Of Something Beautiful’. The end track neatly references back to the opening lyrics of the album, with soft vocals crooning “they said it would be beautiful”, making for an ending that both acts as closure, as well as leaving room for more things to come.

Gold Celeste’s lyrics elegantly point towards injustice and the modern culture of social media, without absorbing the gloominess that Radiohead turn to. Despite subject matter, The Glow is an enchanting listen- and whilst important, it is possible to let the lyrics wash over you and just enjoy the gentle synth work, soft vocals and carefully picked guitar melodies.

The Glow is a beautifully polished debut from Gold Celeste. Producing a sophisticated statement sound of soft psychedelia with unhurried lyrics and a dreamy tone in a debut is a rarity. It sounds like a film soundtrack, and its length lends itself to fully entrancing listeners.

The Glow will be released on Friday 11th September via Riot Factory.

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