Formed in 2016 ECHOGLASS are composed of frontman DA McKenna, guitarist Remmy, bassist Bo Calista and drummer Bam. They are currently independent and release their music on Darkhouse Recordings. With their heritage deep in the great North West of England music scene, they are inspired by the artists, poets and legends of the region like Shaun Ryder, Ian Curtis, Pete Shelley, Gary Aspden, LS Lowry, The Beatles, James, Oasis, Mark E. Smith, Ian Brown and Morrissey to name but a few. The group’s debut single, “Last to Know” was released in 2017 and draws upon their period roaming the great American wilderness. This was followed by second singles, “Blackburn Boulevard” released in early 2018 and “Little Harwood” dropped on May 1st. Coming up soon, but with no official dates yet available, are the singles “Drowning” and “Memories”.
ECHOGLASS go through many stylistic changes throughout their series of releases. Theirs is a classic example of alternative rock and pop at its most sweeping, yet tranquil and subtle. They can write infectious Britpop and Americana tunes to be played endlessly in department stores across the globe, or craft some of the psychedelic scene’s most overlooked gems.
Their understated simplicity feels a hundred times more mature then many cookie-cutter Britpop singles ever could. How the band manages to continue on such a high note with little to no massive commercial acclaim is made even sadder when you listen to what they achieve via their varied independent work.
Songs like the edgy “Blackburn Boulevard” seduce you like a drug binge; the undeniable beauty of the moment renders you in a state of blissful content as you go along for the ride into the unexpected, between illusions and delusions.
The enveloping embrace of the resonant pianos and layered guitar-driven rhythms, along with the roaring vocals beg to be explored further and further as each new verse is peeled away and left exposed.
This collection of songs transcend the barriers between genres and any era they may have originally stemmed from. The mesmerizing bass lines push the momentum, while tripped out melodies glide across substantial guitar rhythms and powerful singing, creating absorbing and resonating efforts that could have come out of the 80’, 90’, the 2000’s…or just yesterday.
This can be attributed as one of ECHOGLASS’ strongest characteristics, as each song paves the way for timeless melodies and showcases the gorgeous textures that the band is capable of.
The song “Little Harwood” reflects nostalgically back on the town of the same name, which is situated in the North West of England, near Blackburn, and was known as the heart of the British music scene during the 1980’s and early 90’s.
ECHOGLASS deliver a harsher, overdriven guitar sound on this one, coupled with a deeper and robust vocal style, while the lyrics chronicles the era’s defining peculiarities. This one fondly reminded so much of early David Bowie. The song is flawless in filling the atmosphere of any setting with a fog of melodic surrealism.
The Americana-influenced strains on “Memories” seep through the speakers and carries with it the experience of a richly texture Country-induced infusion. ECHOGLASS completely switch continents here and sound like they just walked straight out of Nashville.
This is convincing enough to make any casual cowboy shiver with excitement. Maybe it’s the twangy, swirling guitars, the way the thick voice glides across the piano driven soundscape, or the ear-catching melody, but it is a downright likeable. The atmospheric “Drowning”, is for me the masterpiece of the collection. Beautiful, epic, and powerful at the same time.
Each listen will unfold new colors and layers of sound that you didn’t catch on your last listen. Drenched in pianos pushing in and out of the mix, one minute gentle and strung out, next the harmonies building above the cinematic strings and acoustic guitars. This is a rich sound reaching for something ambitiously higher.
The male and female vocals reach upwards, get louder as the song goes on, as does the music. It reaches various crescendos, and it’s a wonderful thing and a good use of dynamics. “Drowning” features a very affecting and genuinely lovely melody and arrangement. ECHOGLASS put on display an absorbing collection of singles for fans of diverse styles of music here.