Singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer Christopher Goett may be best known for his work in Washington, D.C.-based act Silo Halo. After a decade in the District, Goett returned to Los Angeles and quickly amassed a growing collection of songs that were different than his work in Silo Halo. Goett credits his longtime friend, Sleepmask’s and Dreamland’s Adam D’Zurilla with encouraging him to further explore and expand upon those early song ideas. And interestingly enough, the end result turned out to be Goett’s latest project, the post punk/shoegaze act Blackout Transmission.
The project’s sound and arrangements were fleshed out with the addition of Kevin Cluppert (bass) and Teenage’s Wrist’s Anthony Salazar (drums). Late 2019 saw the band playing their first shows together, which helped to develop and harness their chemistry, as well as cement the song’s arrangements. They then went to Long Beach-based Dream Machine Studio to record most of their Scott Holmes co-produced, eight song, full-length debut, Sparse Illumination. “Scott pushed me in the best way to reimagine elements of my approach” says Goett, “as such we captured the vibe and feel that I was seeking with these songs.”
As a result of pandemic-related restrictions and lockdowns, Goett was forced to finalize his overdubs at his home studio, Twin Dragon West, where he wound up writing and recording two of the album’s eight songs. Despite where the material was written and recorded, the end result is an album that finds the band crafting material that’s a seamless lysergic journey that sonically seems influenced by Echo and the Bunnymen, The Verve, The Church and others.
So far, I’ve managed to write about two of Sparse Illumination‘s released singles:
- “Portals,” a track that possessed the painterly and lysergic sonic textures of The Verve’s A Storm in Heaven.
- “Heavy Circles,” a track, which featured brooding and shimmering atmospherics paired with a dusty, desert road quality that brought Starfish and Gold Afternoon Fix-era The Church to mind.
Sparse Illumination’s third and latest single “Since She Guided You Away” has brought comparisons to the aforementioned Echo and the Bunnymen — but much like “Heavy Circles,” I hear quite a bit of The Church’s Starfish in the mix with the track is centered around Goett’s expressive crooning, shimmering and reverb drenched guitars, thunderous drumming and brooding atmospherics. All three tracks so far, make me think that this record would be perfect for lengthy road trips — but the sort full of lonely contemplation of who you are, what you’ve done and what you hope to be once you get to your destination.
Sparse Illumination is slated for a February 19, 2021 through Etxe Records.