Glider: One Day at a Time (The Gaia Project, 2006)
Glider is a project made up of Brian Evans and Rory Carruthers. Drawing from influences such as Mogwai, Slowdive, Sigur Ros, and The Cure, Glider’s first full length, One Day at a Time, showcases two years of labor over eleven tracks. This disc displays space-rock that is brilliant to its core, subtle in its textures, and monstrous in its sound. Appropriately dubbed “Spacerockfordreamers”, Glider invites the listener to lay back and find that place where dreams are dreamed and where dreams might come to fruition.
“Shortly After Two” begins with a ghostly voice mixed with stuttering electronic sounds. A guitar glimmers and a high-pitched sound mingles with as the bass and drum come into the mix. This song is infectious and really draws the listener in from the first note. It’s obvious that Glider plans on taking their audience on an adventure. This dreamscape and the title of the track evoke those moments when you wake after two in the morning not quite knowing where one is, having just woke up from a dream. “Twilight” starts with a subtle mix of bass and glistening guitars. Compositions that evoke the best moments of Explosions in the Sky, elements of Glider’s work are added to make this sound distinctively their own. The build in this song is patient and subtle as fuzzed out guitars build behind the main hook in the song. As the eq on my media player dances delightfully under the power of “Twilight,” I find myself getting lost in the music. “Can You See Them?” wakes me out of my stupor. An out of tune guitar and haunting voices wake me from my hypnosis as drums, bass and insanely beautiful guitar tones fill the speakers. “Oooooohhh’s” fill the void in between the layers of textures, thick and impressive. Vox sunk into the mix evoke sleepwalking and unfulfilled dreams.
“Over the Ocean” starts with guitar picking and slow tempo drums and bass. This tune has vox in it that are a fantastic touch to Glider’s sound. Ethereally haunting, the vox lay on top of layers of guitars, bass and driving drums. At about 4 minutes into the track, a bit of a trip-hop beat takes over and creates a great change of tempo as the music fades out. “The Processional” begins with a warm hum. Brief glimpses of guitar come through as a voice speaks about dreams lost and the importance of life. As this voice fades, sounds bounce from speaker to speaker as drums and bass float along with spacey guitars. Subtly, the volume of the track goes up and down ever so slightly to create an ebb and flow, like swells moving across the ocean, building their strength as they near land. The piano work on this song is beautiful and the sounds evoke ocean journeys with whales and dolphins as the swell picks up the listener and gently lets her down.
“Sequence” is a brief track with high pitch speech patterns and a very slow trip-hop beat that dances among glittering pianos and synths with complementary percussion noises. “Dreams Only Go So Far” is the longest track on the disc and it begins with a low hum. A slight falsetto vocal comes into the mix amid building layers of drones. This erupts into a mid-tempo wall of reverb and tight drum and bass work. The vocals are brought out of falsetto and place a larger role in the mix. This track reminds me a lot of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine in places, yet the band still have their own sound. The soaring walls of sound are immense and engulf the listener. Beautiful, just beautiful! “Borderline” begins with bass and swirling space sounds. Acoustic guitar accents the music while fuzz fills in the spaces as vox float around in the ethereal composition.
“Stairwell” is a short peace with angelic voices singing amidst clangs and low hums. It’s both a disturbing and beautiful interlude. The final track is “Where Have All Your Dreams Gone?” This begins with some of the most beautiful shimmering guitars I have heard in a long time. The tone is perfect and the tempo well thought out. This tune is hypnotic and vox drone along with the music to create a dreamlike mood. Live, this music must be amazing and powerful. “Go to Sleep” completes the mood of “Where Have All Your Dreams Gone?” with a delicate guitar line that shimmers to make a soft blanket for the vocals. This song is the perfect bookend to this disc.
Glider’s two years worth of work on this disc were well worth it. Beautiful, lush, and full, this disc is a gorgeous piece of work that all should have on their shelves. More than just a copy of all shoegaze and space rock bands, Glider has crafted their own niche in the new-gaze era.