Sonic Cathedral was originally set up as a club night for shoegaze music and its myriad of influences. Since its inception, the project has now expanded into releasing records from new artists to the genre. One of the first is Sad Day For Puppets who hail from Sweden. Their debut sticks to the sugary side of dreampop and certainly has its moments.
By and large, ‘Unknown Colours’ is an effervescent pop album singled out by jangly effects and Anna Eklund’s cutesy vocals. ‘Blue Skies’ and ‘Lay Your Burden On Me’ are typically light and feathery but also dreamy; their harmonies would work wonders on the hardest of hearts.
‘Marble Gods’, ‘Shiny Teeth And Sharpened Claws’ and ‘Last Night’ possess echoes of The Primitives, ‘Mother’s Tears’ veers brilliantly and promisingly into grungier territory and ‘Cherry Blossom’ nods towards a different “Wall Of Sound”, namely the one built by Phil Spector. In fact there are many parallels to draw between Sad Day For Puppets and fellow countrymen The Concretes even down to Eklund’s husky turn in front of the mic. The only drawback is that the album is perhaps three or four tracks too long as the energy and ideas flag towards the end of the record.
‘Unknown Colours’ is an admittedly lightweight album which struggles to keep up the momentum for over fifty minutes. Yet it is unerringly melodic as if the band have distilled the shoegazing formula into pure pop and made it as palatable as possible for the masses. That’s not to say it’s a sell-out record though; just one which is tuneful and free of indulgence.
Lush, The Concretes