New Audio: Overlake Returns with a 120 Minutes-era Bit of Swirling Shoegaze

Jersey City, NJ-based shoegaze trio Overlake officially formed in 2012 and can trace its origins to when its founding duo, Thomas Bareett (vocals, guitar) and Lysa Opfer (vocals, bass) were bandmates in another, local hard rock band. Offer and Barrett began to bond over their mutual love of shoegaze and 80s-90s alt rock. After practices and rehearsals, the duo would spend time jamming together, and after about a year of jamming and songwriting, the duo recruited Nick D’Amore (drums) and recorded their 2014 full-length debut Sighs, which was praised for a sound that drew from My Bloody ValentinePavement and Sonic Youth among others.

Up until recently, it had been some time since I had written about the trio, but as it turns out the Jersey City-based shoegazers have been extremely busy as they’ve spent the past couple of years extensively touring across the US to support Sighs and the “Travelogue”/”Winter is Why” 7 inch and writing and recording their sophomore Fall, which is slated for a May 12, 2017 release through Bar/None Records. Reportedly, the material on the new album builds upon the massive and enveloping sound of their debut — while adding subtle yet gorgeous flourishes, including contributions from Claudia Chopek, who has worked with Norah Jones, TV on the Radio, The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger and others, contributing piano and violin on a couple of songs. From the album’s first single “Winter Is Why,” the band has managed to subtly expand upon their sound — and while retaining the dreamy, enveloping quality that first caught attention, the song possesses a rousing, arena rock friendly, anthemic hook paired with Opfer and Barrett’s harmonies and some gorgeous guitar work that reminded me of A Northern Soul and Urban Hymns-era The Verve.

Fall‘s second and latest single “Gardener’s Bell” will further cement the band’s reputation for crafting dreamy bit of shoegaze featuring Opfer and Barrett’s ethereal and swooning harmonies, paired with shimmering and swirling guitar work, propulsive drumming and a rousingly anthemic hook. And while continuing to be warmly, enveloping the song manages to be most 120 Minutes-era alt rock sounding song they’ve released in some time.