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Meet Glades, the soundtrack to a relaxed and surreal lucid dream in which you effortlessly glide over a sun-drenched ocean at twilight. While silky, ethereal alt-pop is everywhere at the moment, this trio are the triple-distilled, finely aged nectar that will make you wonder why you ever bothered with the rest of the market.
Whether you’re off in the wonderland of your own thoughts or swaying in the middle of a musically medicated live audience, there’s not a sliver of a doubt Glades are speaking your language.
With simple electronic percussion, otherworldly arrangements and world-class vocals, Glades are the downtempo alt-pop outfit shining brighter than any super moon.
Despite the relaxed pace of their music, the last legs are 2016 are set to be a blistering string of shows for the group. A month on from the release of their squeaky clean debut EP This Is What It’s Like, the praise is rolling in – one of their gigs selling out as quickly as it was announced.
It’s not tough to see why. The EP is obviously the result of total immersion in Australia’s dreamy electronica scene, bringing in the addictive, glistening synth sounds of genre-mates Lastlings or Mansionair, but with a more biting edge some of these groups lack.
The EP opener Speechless is a showcase of this. The arrangement is anything but bare-bones or minimal, with more festival friendly synth hooks edging their way into the chorus. There’s a confidence in the percussion too, the snare sounding a lot more physical, full-bodied and authentic than anything similar bands would dare fret with, packing the punch a proper snare clap should have.
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Equally confident are Karina Wykes’ vocals, somehow soaring to the front of a mix populated with plenty of powerful sonics.
Drive is the superhit you’ve probably come across, having garnered over 20 million Spotify streams since it’s release. Another grand tour of Wyke’s demanding set of pipes, it’s a little more dramatic than Speechless, the choral hook “I’ll take you for a drive” hitting a glorious drop in tone right on time with the introduction of quick hi-hats.
Again the percussion is a standout factor right alongside the pervasive vocals. While taking a seat further back in the mix than on much of the EP, Glades’ willingness to flirt with more experimental lines shows once again.
This Is What It’s Like uses percussion similar to the way Seekae did on The Worry or their most recent effort Turbine Blue; as an effective compliment to extremely strong vocals without shoving them too far behind other instrumentation to have any lasting effect.
When there’s a vocalist as talented as Wyke in a band, it’s a mark of the group’s musical maturity to avoid relying on that strength. Glades continues to show they’re capable of this throughout the EP.
Smack-bang in the middle of the record is the heavenly Summer Air – let’s just say it’s a pity we already published our favourite synth lines of 2016, because this track ends somewhere truly special.
With seven tracks to digest, Glades have nailed it with their particularly meaty debut EP. Jump on board this otherworldly act by catching them live for the following dates: