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Mirror Gaze Vinyl, CD & tapes by Mirror Gaze at Norman Records

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Debut by Onus presenting six tunes honed from baritone guitar, bass and drums, each hosting intricate, chorus-sung narratives from vague and seemingly remote space-time locations. The music is dark-toned and downbeat; with descending arpeggios and sparse cyclical riffs a-plenty, interlocking with skeletal drums to provide lean bones for nebulous melodies and scuffed harmonies to take hold. Lyrically, the album opens up snapshots of rewilded outskirts, ritual humiliation, generational rifts and dispossessions; mining deep veins of residual cultural memory vivid enough to feel like premonitions. Lighter relief is to be had with more abstract grapplings with mapping the unknowable and framing a response to divine silence. Limited to a measly 50 cassettes with lino-print sleeves, each including a download code.

Mirror Gaze

Mirror Gaze are a duo who play dark and naive drone-pop. They formed by chance around five years ago when Clare Bailey improvised some breathy vocals over Jim Knight’s hypnotic layers of looped bass VI. Liking the combination of Clare’s naïve but sensual pop sensibilities and Jim’s dark experimental rock leanings, they decided to flesh out their ideas with some keyboards and basic rhythms, committing their labours to cassette. The result is Watch: a varied excursion through dreamy drone-pop territory of many shades of light and dark, with cryptic lyrics that touch on themes of voyeuristic desire, automotive escapism and time-traveling love affairs, amongst others. Fusing the lipstick twang and simplicity of early rock’n’roll with a minimalist sensibility –‘like the Cramps playing Steve Reich’ as one reviewer commented– Mirror Gaze’s sound is influenced in equal measure by the enveloping psychedelic textures of Spacemen 3, the melancholy intimacy of Mazzy Star, the sultry electronic atmospheres of HTRK and the mysterious languor of Angelo Badalamenti’s soundtracks for David Lynch’s films.