Label: La Société Expéditionnaire Release date: 08/12/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon For a nice taste of community music production, dream-pop group Soars, from the metropolitan Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, have released their debut album on La Société Expéditionnaire, a label also located in this (third) most metropolitan area of Pennsylvania state. A wonderful, ethereal gathering of interweaving instrumental parts and echoed vocals, this is dream-pop at its finest. Darker than The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and more experimental than Team Ghost, this is an album that has more mood and atmosphere changes than actual tracks in it and this versatility is the record’s strongest asset. After a noisy thirty-seven seconds of introduction, ‘The Sun Breaks Every Way But One’ starts us off with an airy number before moving on to the more broody and menacing ‘Throw Yourself Apart’. In just two songs, Soars display their ability to completely change the atmosphere of the record with subtle changes in tone. The heavy drums and distorted guitars of ‘Figureheads’ is another display of the menacing and atmospheric tone this band is capable of, and overall the standout track of the record is the simply beautiful closing track ‘Monolith’. Briana Edwards really is the star of the show in this record. In the first three songs (discounting the intro) alone, we see the sound fluctuate from airy to menacing to the sombre ‘Escape On High and this is mainly down to Edwards’ skilful manipulation of her vocals. It’s the subtlety that really makes this record – the drums and guitars don’t differ a huge amount from track to track. They also have a shoegaze-y string to their bow – the ending minute of ‘Escape On High’ sees Soars launch into an epic finale that reminds of My Bloody Valentine in their Loveless era. From what can be read on the bands facebook page, it is perhaps arguable that Soars is a reflection of the creative nature of the area they originate from. Originally an industrial stronghold but transformed into a modern twenty-first century hub of financial and shopping districts, the unique success that this district has had in re-inventing itself seems to be reflected in some ways in the band’s music. However, credit should not be taken away from Soars. By the look of it, this area of the USA is a fertile ground for noise and experimental groups to prosper but at the same time the way Soars have skilfully manipulated their sound to create an album of such subtle variety should be applauded. Photobucket