New York post-punk/shoegazers SPIRITS OF LEO have released “Gossamer Blue”, their new full-length album following their latest single “Asylum”. Somber, spectral and energetic, “Gossamer Blue” demonstrates the band’s unique blend of dreamy shoegaze and ethereal post-punk set against a backdrop of wintery atmospherics. Today, we’re giving it a closer look through the band’s special track by track commentary below.
With chorused textures and pounding rhythms, the eight titles that make up “Gossamer Blue” meld intricate guitar lines with ethereal vocal chants to echo the moods of early 4AD and Fiction Records-era goth.
𝐴𝑛𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚𝑖𝑐 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑐𝑖𝑠𝑒, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑎𝑙𝑏𝑢𝑚 𝑒𝑥𝑝𝑙𝑜𝑑𝑒𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑠𝑝𝑎𝑐𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑖𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑟𝑢𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑎𝑙 ℎ𝑜𝑜𝑘𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑟𝑢𝑠𝑒𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑡𝑠 32-𝑚𝑖𝑛𝑢𝑡𝑒 𝑏𝑟𝑒𝑣𝑖𝑡𝑦.
Stylistically, the songs here have evolved into darker, gloomier provisions since the release of double-LP “Equinox” in 2018. The motifs present in “Gossamer Blue” range from introspection and determination to bleak explorations of death, life, and rebirth.
The album was written, recorded and mixed by Ryan Santos Phillips at his Brooklyn-based project studio Lux Perpetua NYC. It was mastered by Justin Colletti at Joe Lambert Mastering. The album features drums by Alex Lichtenstein and guest vocalist Gioia Sabatinelli.
“Gossamer Blue” is available on cassette, digital and vinyl pre-order via À La Carte Records. The record serves as a perfect treat for fans of Drab Majesty, Soft Kill, Twin Tribes, Slowdive, Cocteau Twins, The Cure, The Chameleons.
This song is written from the perspective of someone entering a world of death in the last moments of life. But rather than confronting death with fear, witnessing a rush of life before leaving this realm. The title comes from life being a sort of “initiation” for death that we all inevitably must undergo when it’s our time.
Thematically speaking, this track takes a different turn. It’s a song about love, but mostly, all the feelings that surround it: the passion, the empowerment, but also the trepidation that comes in taking a great risk and following one’s instincts. It’s about seeing the future in someone, envisioning your path ahead, and making the decision that you will be your best self for them.
“Solaris” is a song about maintaining conviction and regaining control of one’s life after being lost. For years, I let the voices of others dictate my life and my opinions toward myself. Writing this song was my attempt at taking back the emotional control that I felt was taken from me after years of conditioned thinking.
“Patience” is about being driven in spite of exhaustion and doubt. Maintaining patience and planning your escape from it all over a period of years. For me, this song goes hand-in-hand with “Solaris”, losing faith in oneself to the point of where you’ve lost everything.
“Frailties” depicts the cycle of intrusive thinking and regressive habits. Allowing yourself to revert to darkness after a period of progress, basically conceding to the invincible, cunning demon that’s always lurking within. And the process of dissociating completely is the only way out. Essentially that happiness is a series of brief glimpses, a moment in time for someone whose will to live is hanging by thread.
“Asylum” addresses obsessions, compulsions and intrusive thoughts. It’s very much about finding safety in a place where your inner demons oppress you, and finding shelter from relentless ruminations. Essentially, being safe from yourself, the enemy who knows your every weakness.
This song is about grief, loss, but the end of pain. Being the title track of the album, it was sort of my reflecting on the inevitably of death and its tethered connection to life. The grisly face of a ghost peaking in, watching a over a place filled with grief and emptiness. But that the torment is a matter of perspective.
This song is about the soul departing, and the physical form getting returned to the Earth with the last breaths of life. Featuring the ethereal vocals of my great friend Gioia Sabatinelli. She has truly one of the most beautiful and haunting voices I’ve ever heard.
Spirits of Leo Live is: Ryan Santos Phillips – vocals, guitar, Anthony Taboada – backing vocals, guitar, Nick DiPillo – bass guitar, Alex Lichtenstein – drums