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Dylan Shearer (Noah)

February 26, 2014

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If Dylan Shearer’s prior record, Porchpuddles, felt like the warm embrace of the sunniest of psychedelia, his new release, Garagearray (a collaboration between San Francisco heavyweights Empty Cellar Records and Castleface) is the bittersweet glow of the post-trip come down. I imagine Shearer, a little wide-eyed, the last bit of tracers just bleeding off the tree branches, sitting down on a soft couch on a porch overlooking a nice meadow and this album spilling out of him. Where Porchpuddles still had one hand gently resting on the leg of psych and garage, Garagearray seems to have bid adieu to the whole affair, instead turning in an album of sad, shy folk rock. With Petey Dammit (of Thee Oh Sees) on bass, you’d expect the rollicking good time affair of garage-turned-insanity, but this is a subtle, subdued, little album driven by the gentle rumble of Shearer’s voice. Garagearray, like Porchpuddles before it, has a tendency, in the best way, to float a bit, to drift around our shoulders and ears, a hazy cloud of scattered images and emotion. This has nothing to say about the content, or weightiness of Shearer’s music though; these are beautifully composed pieces, layered with sound and thought and instrumentation. Dylan Shearer is a great musician and Garagearray is the mark of what great musicians do: change their sound ever so slightly without losing the heart of who they are.

:Dylan Shearer – Meadow Mines (Fort Polio):

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Dylan Shearer (Noah)

September 5, 2012

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Dylan Shearer makes psych-pop, that rare combination of drugged-out bliss and crystal clear melody that evokes The Beach Boys on acid, or The Free Design on ketamine. Not to say that Shearer invokes the more sinister edges of the drug-addled, oh no, this is psychedelia that wraps you up in a Fall sweater of guitar and woodwinds. Shearer’s psych isn’t tinged with the harder lines of bass that dominate so many eight-minute psych freak-outs (the speedy edge of a cheap, bad trip), instead it glows with a sort of warm, comforting light. At the heart of it all is Shearer’s voice – resonate and low, calm and friendly – a soothing, baritone guide through the wide-eyed wonder of the kindest psychedelia. Porchpuddles, Shearer’s second album, though run through with a line of 60s smiles, doesn’t feel one note instead he manages to capture both the toothy-grin of drugged-out wonder and the weighty melancholy that lingers at the end. This is psych and pop mixed in the most classic of ways, the tenuous edges of free-form psych brought together under the deceptively superficial happiness of best sort of pop.

Porchpuddles is out now on San Francisco’s very own Empty Cellar Records.

:Dylan Shearer – Porchpuddle Pond:

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