WL//WH Review: Inside the incredible surreal shoegaze realms of RESPLANDOR’s “Tristeza” LP


Earlier on April 22, Reptile Music/ Automatic and Cargo Records (distribution) published the brand new opus ‘Tristeza’ LP (LP/CD/Digital) by Resplandor (Netherlands). The album is naturally a grandiose work by all means, especially if look at the aces on the table; the entire album was produced and mixed by Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins), who has done the same job in the past with their previous album ‘Pleamar’ (2019), while all songs were mastered by Simon Scott of Slowdive who is an acknowledged player with many ‘laurels’ and many solo releases too. The band was founded in Lima (Peru) and is currently based in the Netherlands. All the music and lyrics are masterminded by Antonio Zelada (vocals, guitars, e-bow, programming) who is an inspired composer and a very skilled player, with the rest of the team consisting of Joeri Gydé (bass, baritone guitar, cello), Christopher Farfán (drums), and Tatiana Balaburkina (synthesizer, backing vocals) who is very significant for the music of the band. All of them are the cornerstones of an incredibly beautiful #shoegaze puzzle with an amazing new album in their quiver.

Before listening to ‘Tristeza’ LP how much I hoped it would be something special and good and everything turned out beyond my expectations. You see, both Guthrie and Scott are not looking for a job and they don’t even need to be ‘convinced’ to work with something new but if this new is top quality then I guess they roll up their sleeves with joy and enter the studio for great things. These great things are the all 8 new songs by this amazing band. You will hear the maziness of shoegaze and you will enjoy some pretty targeted and sensational dream-pop bridges and ‘incidents’. You will not hear any blase band looking how to shoegaze their music, you will experience the real ‘gaze thing – and maybe this is what the aforementioned gentlemen sensed too.

Of course, if you are stuck with only the American shoegaze sound you’ll need some extra tutorial as both these ‘schools’ (that I admire equally, forever) are quite different from each other; the American shoegaze sound is like all in the face, with the wall of sound, and the impassable gtr-sounding while the Albion style is way hazier yet on the same wall which, however, allows you to see the landscape a little further, with heavy gtr-work and their permanent need to hide the obvious…but both on the ends of the Atlantic have something in common (except r’n’r); their non-negotiable need in the dreamy composition and the run-over sound. Ιf you can’t dream awake, you can’t shoegaze.


But the song that totally nailed me with its beauty and its groove and its new-wave orientation and all…was the same “Tristeza” track. I played it on the radio and you know how it goes sometimes, you may only need a minute to pick a song but while you are spinning it and you focus more and your hand goes alone on the volume to turn it louder…these songs are core of your night in the booth, yeah. Other tracks in the album, let me see…the amazing shoegaze ‘exercise’ in wild waters with ‘Oceano’ because during this very adventurous song you will understand why all the money is the drummer who jumped in and took it somewhere else and sassier…‘Adore’ and ‘Feel’ that both took me to the old-school shoegaze but here is the thing; even though hey took me there they sound utterly fresh and so appealing dynamic. Before I go I’d like to tell you another thing that is very relevant to today’s presentation. Remember my review (with an interview too) on the amazing new release by the American shoegazers Whimsical? If you place these two records in your library (Resplandor, Whimsical) then not only you’ll have two of the strongest shoegaze releases this year but most importantly, you’ll have the new shoegaze/dream pop sound with content so modern, so forward. But the day today belongs to Resplandor with the new ‘Tristeza’ LP, so here it is, listen loud!!!

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Written by Loud Cities’ Mike


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