When I think back to their first efforts in the early 2010s, New Zealand synth-pop group Glass Vaults introduced themselves with a series of stoned (figuratively, if not literally) and devotional EPs that combined elements of gospel and church music with rich, multi-layered synthesiser soundscapes, sometimes augmented by barrel drum percussion; sometimes not. From there they fleshed things out from a studio trio (which generally became a duo on stage), into an expansive multi-member live band, along the way retooling their initial ambient/experimental impulses within a lyrical, psychedelic folk rock frame.

With 'Bleached Blonde', the second single off their forthcoming new album The New Happy, Glass Vaults pull things back towards the more electronica informed aspects of their early work while folding the steady pulse and groove of house/techno, and a series of sun-kissed Caribbean musical motifs into the songs overall sound. Sometimes you have to take a step or two backward to move forwards, and what’s always going to be a richer source of inspiration, the experience of summer, or faded memories of summers past, as projected through the mind’s eye in the depths of winter?

You can stream ‘Bleached Blonde’ below via Soundcloud. The New Happy is due for release via Melodic Records from the 12th of May. You can pre-order CD/LP/Digital here.