Vastly underrated shoegaze/dream-rock outfit Helen Stellar releases their EP, Moonlight Amnesia, the band’s first new music in a decade.
Vocalist/guitarist Jim Evens explains, “For the last ten years, I’ve been writing songs for other projects, trying my hardest to not have them sound like Helen Stellar songs. It’s tricky to try to NOT sound like who you are – and Helen Stellar is who I am.”
Once Evens disposed of the pretense, new music flowed forth as if from the floodgates of a dam, allowing him to write Moonlight Amnesia over a two-week span of time.
Despite being unsigned, Helen Stellar’s music has been featured in films such as Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown, as well as Henry Poole Is Here, Love Happens, and in Gregg Araki’s 2010 film, Kaboom.
Comprising four tracks, Moonlight Amnesia begins with “Seismic Heartbeats,” traveling on a dark-flavored intro backed by luminous, shimmering accents. The low-slung, pushing rhythm gives the tune an allusive aspect as hazy guitars infuse cloudy surfaces silhouetted against Evens’ wistful vocals.
For some reason, “Holding On for Life” recalls the Kings of Leon, only more melodic and creamier, as if stripped down and then built back up with glittering layers of shoegaze and tender, evocative vocals. A remote, almost distant, guitar solo imbues the tune with strident urgency.
The intro to “Depressive Types,” with its jangly guitar colors, conjures up hints of The Cranberries, blending savors of dream-pop and shoegaze into alluring textures revealing an inarticulate yearning for connection.
Riding dizzying, gleaming guitars, the title track finishes the EP in grand style, delivering thick, lustrous veneers of sound as Evens’ voice mounts on soaring timbres. On the outro, the guitars take on syrupy granularity, creating a porridge-like susceptibility.
The combination of Evens’ splendid voice and fuzzy shoegaze riffs impart a compact, cathartic essence to Moonlight Amnesia.
Moonlight Amnesia Track Listing:
1. Seismic Heartbeats
2. Holding On for Life
3. Depressive Types
4. Moonlight Amnesia
Run Time: 19:10
Release Date: September 19, 2023
Record Label: Independent