Radioseed: There Has To Be More
Quince Records

Kaleidoscopic, panoramic, euphoric—all such words come to mind while listening to the veritable blizzard of sound Peter Wikström unleashes throughout There Has To Be More, his debut effort under the RadioSeed name. His particular brand of shoegaze splendour has already been documented in the work he's produced with Emil Holmström under the Ecovillage name, but this time Wikström's riding solo and, based on the frenetic aural evidence, overjoyed at the prospect of doing so.

The material's psychedelic headrush is intimated by titles such as “Raspberry Cream Dream” and “Kissed Your Galaxy Goodbye” and confirmed by the wealth of sound that pours forth from every song. The wail of a harmonica, phase-treated guitars and voices, and chirping birds collide during the opening collage “Magic Friday” before the disco-house stomp of “Raspberry Cream Dream” brings a song-structured presence to the album. Wikström's impassioned vocals soar through the irradiated mix as electronics generate an enveloping swirl of euphoric atmosphere, a template he pushes to an even trippier degree on the subsequent “Kissed Your Galaxy Goodbye” and the seductive electronic pop anthem “Rise Your Mountain” (where he duets with a guest female singer whose voice is as ecstatic as his). An impossibly exuberant exercise in epic ambient scene-painting, the instrumental title track soars, powered by a driving shoegaze bass line and blinding meteor showers, while “Keep Your Friends Close” shuttles us to the space disco, where Wikström's wordless vocals sail across a conga-enhanced groove and pulsating electronics. “Pearly Sister” and “You Make Me Better” offer respites from the intensity in their relaxed flow and becalmed aura. His talent for grounding tracks with tight beat patterns is evident throughout the disc but nowhere more so than during “Like Water”—even if it's sometimes hard to tell when the cumulative sound is so dense. In fact, a given track contains so many elements that it's only at the song's end that a sound previously buried in the mix suddenly becomes audible, such as flies buzzing at the end of “Kissed Your Galaxy Goodbye” and an engine motor winding down at the close of “Like Water.”

All of the album's songs are in the three- to four-minute range, with one dramatic exception: the closer “Miracle Of Triumphant,” which weighs in at eleven. Wikström indulges his epic side here by squeezing tympani, bell chimes, and strings into the piece's predictably multi-layered mix. Yes, it meanders and is a tad overlong too, but we'll indulge him in this instance given that There Has To Be More otherwise serves up multiple succinct samplings of incandescent space pop for those who like their shoegaze delivered at full-tilt.

November 2010