Drift’s ‘At Last’ is a mesmerising dose of alternative shoegaze

Forged in the depths of the pandemic, Drift is a force in alt-rock and shoegaze to be reckoned with. New single, At Last, is a formidable statement of intent.

It’s been a busy year for Wollongong’s Drift. Since their formation late in 2020, a healthy stream of recorded content has emerged from the four-piece. Plus — despite the obvious hurdles caused by Covid — they’ve already cemented a place in the east coast live scene. At Last, their fresh single, is the culmination of their efforts so far and a tantalising vision of things to come.

Recorded at Wollongong’s Animal Audio by Chris Peruch, At Last captures the live energy of Drift, while showcasing the band’s ambitious tonal explorations.

Photo: Lachy Starling

Beginning disarmingly with crystalline arpeggios, the guitars are gradually engulfed by ambient layers. Vocals from frontman Callum McCombie are similarly distant, with Nelson Thurgate’s guitar offering up space for the reverberant textures to bleed into each other. The grinding bass from Marley Mondzheyovsky and metronomic beat from Ruben Dragone grounds the rhythm and propels it forward.

The reverb is pushed even further as the band slingshots into the chorus, with McCombie’s vocal melody soaring above the guitars. And while this mix dishes up multiple distorted layers on top of one another, you can still easily find you way through the space. Like the best kind of shoegaze (think My Bloody Valentine) At Last doesn’t aim to shock you with loudness. Instead, it’s an embrace of cascading crunch that you can get lost in.

Coupled with the VHS-style warps and fuzziness in the video — which documents the recording process as well as the Drift live experience — it’s an enticing invitation into the world of this emerging band. And with the momentum that they’ve already built up, no doubt there’ll be exciting projects on the horizon.

At Last is out now. Stream it on Spotify.