Bolinas are a dreampop quartet I came across by accident on Soundcloud suggestions, and immediately adored! The band, and their perfectly sultry beachy sound, are obviously from the cradle of current dreampop (aka California), and were formed by singer/ guitarist Chris Thomas; bass-player and producer Phil McGinn; drummer Dwight Stannard and recent keyboard addition Anna San Juan. Bolinas was Thomas’ bedroom recording project until his then co-workers (McGinn, Stannard) joined and they united their talents to push the project into full band mode.
Bolinas’ main musical influences, range as far as their own individual backgrounds: Chris Thomas originating from Kansas City/ Missouri; Phil McGinn from Phoenix/Arizona; Anna San Juan from Manilla/Philippines, and Stannard Burlington from Vermont. However Thomas’ songwriting is heavily influenced by early shoegaze, lo-fi and 90’s indie.
The band’s first single “Vacation”, and the last one, “Angostura”, will eventually be followed by 2 more releases, and were engineered and produced in the homes of Thomas and McGinn. The quartet seeks to release the best sounding recordings whilst retaining the charm of using a humble selection of recording equipment.
“Angostura“, the last single, was released a few months ago. It’s a subtle, composed piece of dreampop that drowns in atmosphere with Cocteau-esque, sonorous swirls, shards of surf guitar twangs, and aided by chiming synths and layers of soothing vocals. Everything in the production is perfectly balanced, there are delicate chords swoops, and not a single element is overbearing or annoying: it truly is the ideal background for drifting away on the waves of your own thoughts. The same could be said for “Vacation” which again has that same laid back, lo-fi vibe/production in which we pick up the strumming of Shields, the typical shimmery dreampop jangle and volatile cooing, but there is something magical here, there that undoubtedly sets it apart from the very start. It’s a thing of sheer fragile beauty, that engulfs us and conjures up images of lying on a deserted beach, listening to crystal lapping waves, watching the liquid solar radiation glisten through your lashes…..utter bliss……
A whole album like this would be heaven! I expect to be wooed by more…..