Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past month or so, you would have come across a couple of posts on Los Angeles, CA-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Stefan Weich. Weich specializes in a dreamy exploration of traditional music structures, alternate guitar tunings and analog synthesizers and has released music under a number of monikers, including Das Bowls, Chicle, Couch Baby and others; however, his latest effort, Granite Prism is Weich’s (true) solo debut and first album under his own name. Thematically, the album explores the Los Angeles-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s feelings of loneliness, aimlessness and his search for love and acceptance in a large, modern metropolis.
With Granite Prism‘s first single and video “Holy Nights,” Weich paired his plaintive falsetto croon with dreamily ambient synths, soft padded drumming and gently strummed guitar in a deliberate and carefully crafted song that sounded indebted to Brian Eno –but with a plaintive yearning at its core. The album’s second single “Louie,” continued on the same vein as Weich paired swirling and ambient electronics are paired with soft padded drumming, bursts of bluesy guitar chords and his plaintive falsetto crooning lyrics about a relationship in which both people are slowly drifting apart. At the heart of the song is the unspoken and built up resentments that can cause people to slowly drift apart over time, and a lingering sense of regret of what happened — and how it happened.
Granite Prism‘s third and latest single “Toxic Landscape” is a subtly more muscular song and as a result it sounds as though it owes a sonic debt to shoegaze than ambient electronica as Weich pairs his plaintive falsetto with feedback-laden and buzzing power chords, strummed guitar chords played through layers of reverb, subtly forceful drumming and soaring synths in a song that to my ears reminds me quite a bit of A Storm in Heaven-era The Verve and Silversun Pickups. Much like the previously released singles, the song focuses on the slow dissolution of a relationship and its aftermath, complete with the feelings of bitterness, isolation, confusion, heartache and more — and in a way that’s reminiscent of 120 Minutes-era MTV indie rock.