Coming home after a long day at work to find the postman cradling a package to yours truly is always a spectacular treat. What makes the experience even that more peachy is when you open it to find VINE – ambient-psych songstress, Jen Gloeckner’s latest and third spellbinding record.
Hailing from the shores of Dubuque, Iowa’s Mississippi River, Gloeckner’s ambient tunes have received worldwide airplay and have been covered by industry heavyweights in Clash Magazine, ABC News and 4ZZZ.
Usually, one to resort to her home studio to concoct entrancing soundscapes, Gloeckner stripped things back this time round and resided to the comfort of her bedroom to produce and record the entirety of VINE. Her diary-like numbers and enchanting vocals have received great recognition across the interwebs in the past few months. Evidently intrigued, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Putting VINE to the test I popped the record atop my turntable and lowered down its needle.
Leading is the album’s self-titled track – a whimsical tune that Gloeckner paints to an ex-lover amongst a backdrop of wind-blown vibrations. The song’s haunting blend of vocals and production perfectly sets the stage for the record’s overall theme.
To follow is, ‘Firefly (War Dance)’ – a mesmerising cinematic marvel that feels as if it has been plucked straight from the climatic soundtrack of your favourite psychological thriller. The instrumental is a standout and it’s theatrical tribal like arrangements will send listeners into a glitchy dystopia.
‘Ginger Ale’, a personal favourite of mine will give you major Lana vibes, Gloeckner’s sultry tone amongst dream-like synths transporting you right into a fairytale set in the lush green countryside. I totally recommend you take a listen to this one whilst cloud-gazing underneath the shadow of a tree – the majestic sprinkling of keys and strings will be sure to take you on a nostalgia trip.
On its trail is ‘The Last Thought’. With luscious strings and silky smooth vocals, Gloeckner slows the pace down and takes you to a dreamlike realm of intoxicating lust. Paired with desirous lyrics, the record switches lanes and takes a hypnotic and daze-like turn.
As the album nears its close, ‘Row With The Flow’ emerges – a vocal driven track where Gloeckner’s voice takes centre stage amongst a moaning cello. The layering of vocals from The Police’s, Henry Padovani and In the Valley Below’s Angela Mattson bring a unique dimension to the record all while adding to the track’s mellow yet haunting sensations.
VINE is a 39-minute hypnotic journey that comes nothing close to pop-drenched top 40’s. It achieves a strange sonic stance, being almost minimalistic yet simultaneously hefty in sound. Although the record at time wanders and gets lost in a churn of ponderous verses and jumbled productions, it is striking and authentic and is unlike anything I have previously come across. It is light and dark, ethereal and mysterious – a fusion of sounds and feelings that are intricate to deliver in just 11 tracks. VINE showcases the evolving sound of Jen Gloeckner, setting a promising future for her hypotonic and mind-bending direction in alt dream-pop.
Keep up to date with Jen Gloeckner here. VINE is now available to purchase on iTunes and listen on Spotify.