Berlin duo Gliss released a new album just a few weeks ago, and it has absolutely enraptured me. At times “Strange Heaven” reminds the listener of other acts, such as the Raveonettes and early Tamaryn releases but they also somehow remain completely true to their own sound. This album is a luscious hybrid of sorts with tracks that veer more into synthpop and post punk territory; which is always welcome to any listener like me who can become a bit detached while when release spend too much time “sticking to the formula”.
“Strange Heaven” kicks off with “My Lie” which offers a big, buzzy well structured piece highlighted with layered male and female vocals that are just adjacent to what the listener may be expecting, which only further gives it a “I want to listen to that again.” quality.
The rest of the albums track weave between the aforementioned genres, where in tracks like “Ja Ja” there is a bit of a Sisters of Mercy vibe but also somehow even hints at inspiration from Joy Division and early New Order. This, like all of the tracks on “Strange Heaven” somehow manage to just hint at something more sinister just below the surface of the songs.
“S-Bahn” is appropriately named and reminds me of any travel taken by train in a grey and dreary winter setting. It’s sparse, muted, and ultimately beautiful.
Other standout tracks include “Broken Minds” and “Strange Heaven” which continue to evoke various hints of other musical references but still manage to be fresh and original. The album stays pretty driving and high energy until you hit the final track, “Hold your Breath For Me” which is almost sounds like a sweet funeral dirge; and I mean that in the best way possible.
Gliss has been able to grow and adapt to create their signature sound. This album only continues that trend and is sure to have fans of the band only wanting more and hitting the repeat button multiple times.