Wray
(Hypatia)
2016
Turn this to 6.9 of 11
Genre:
Shoegaze, Dream pop, Alternative
Sounds Like:
Slowdive, The Cure, My Bloody Valentine
From Birmingham, Alabama welcome Wray and their sophomore release Hypatia. This album gives us twelve soft and dreamy shoegaze tracks that pretty much picks up from their previous Self-Titled release. However, there are slight differences to be found here as the band sounds more mature and the music is a bit deeper sounding. The songs on Hypatia are a bit more toned down and have a richer sound and yes the production is also better. The band has no issues about hiding there influences, if you are  a fan of 80s and 90s alternative shoegaze you will easily pick up the similarities to bands like The Cure or Slowdive. The album never really wavers outside the shoegaze realm as each song sounds very similar to one another, nonetheless it is pleasant on the ears and has some lasting appeal.

There really are no standout moments or really weak songs throughout, it’s a steady flow of dream pop-like shoegaze. From the onset with the opener “Below,” you will know exactly what the album is all about. The hazy vocals of David Brown and David Swatzell fit well within the music, they are never in the forefront nor are nestled way into the background, the vocals act as another instrument that seems to blend right in. Track three “Hypatia” has The Cure written all over it, the vocals are nice, but we yearn for The Cure when this one comes on. The song “Regular” will suck you in as the last half keeps building in momentum with mesmerizing jamming. They keep us engaged on the next song with the instrumental “Diamond Gym.” These are great back-to-back songs, really showcasing the musicianship.

The next three tracks “Shiva,” “Pined” and “Jennifer” seem to hold our interest, they are not groundbreaking songs, yet there is a soothing, fulfilling flow to the songs. The last track “Mounts Minding” builds nicely over time with some well-timed feedback giving the song some needed diversity. Overall, Hypatia is a good album and sounds rather nice. However, it probably won’t add much diversity to your collection, especially for all you shoegaze fans. - 2/5/2016

Standout Tracks: Regular, Diamond Gym, Mounts Minding

Track Listing:
1. Below 2:50
2. Giant 3:49
3. Hypatia 3:52
4. Plus 0:49
5. May 23rd 2:49
6. Regular 4:12
7. Diamond Gym 2:34
8. Shiva 3:35*
9. Pined 4:20*
10. Jennifer 3:38
11. Dymaxion Dream 1:31
12. Mounts Minding 4:01

Band Members:
David Brown - Bass/Vocals
David Swatzell - Guitar/Vocals
Blake Wimberly - Drums
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