Is it just me, or is shoegaze having a moment right now? It seems like every week, I get at least one or two albums full of afterburner guitars, supernova songwriting, space-walk pacing and dreamy interstellar vocals. Not that I’m complaining. Especially not when the results are as potent and pleasing as Albany duo Laveda’s trippy debut album What Happens After. Over the course of these 10 songs, they strike a perfect balance between poppy melodies, sharp songcraft, cacophonous soundscapes and psychedelic expansiveness. Whatever comes next, they are living in the moment here. Strap in and take a ride.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “In Laveda’s debut LP, What Happens After, subtle guitar strums fade away, and instantly you’re swept into a wave of cathartic distortion and noise. Echo-laden guitars house a constant riff before opening up to vocals by Jacob Brooks, and later, Ali Genevich. It’s a meticulous and equally moving sound, crafted through hours of experimentation in the studio. “The overdubbed guitars recorded with Dylan Sky at Hook & Fade became a big factor,” says Jake. “The different saturations all happening at once (panned wide) contribute to the huge, crushing feel.” Creating Ghost opened the door to the heavier rock/shoegaze sound that Laveda worked to harness throughout the rest of the record. “It was the song that invented our sound,” says Ali. “If we had never written it I don’t think the rest of the record would sound the way that it does. It felt obvious and just right to make it the first track on the LP because it laid the foundation for all our other songs.” In regards to the album’s name, the songs helped create the title. Better Now touches on what happens after our environment has changed, and Rager adds to the concept, looking at the end of our world as we know it — albiet it in a more of a romanticized, angry tone. “I think our generation is always thinking about what’s going to happen next. Asking questions and also trying to answer them. Although we can make many scientific and educated assumptions as to what ‘after’ will be and look like, whether it be positive or negative for the environment, for love, for the overall human race, there is no real way to see into the future. All we can do is continue to do the best that we possibly can and hope that what happens is what we’ve anticipated.”