Known for dreary weather and a prominent punk scene that appears to feed off the falling rain, Seattle stands at the epicenter of a rock renaissance in the Pacific Northwest. Following the glory of grunge and garage experienced in the 80’s and 90’s, a wave of synth and psychedelia is now crashing over the city and bringing a surge of new sounds to the surface along with it. Riding this tide with his upcoming album Pale Mirror, artist Michael Shunk of Blue Glass is drawing from decades past in a hypnotic and hallucinogenic ode to isolation. Settling in Seattle after migrating from the Midwest and journeying along the Pacific perimeter, Shunk was soon met with a number of creative opportunities which notably includes joining local band Transient Songs. In addition to maintaining that collaboration, Michael Shunk continued to explore his musical individuality and it was out of the pensive, emerald waters of Puget Sound that inspiration for his largely solo band Blue Glass was formed.
Turning Cold into Creation
Emerging from the intersection of post-punk and synth-pop while embracing a heavy influence from bands such as The Cure, Cocteau Twins, and The Chills; Pale Mirror is the second album from Blue Glass and will make its debut on May 24th. As with the band name itself, for the album was derived from Shunk’s experience in the Pacific Northwest with a primary focus on the changes that winter brings to the city and citizens alike. Following the death of a friend, the introspective themes of the album began to come forward and in trying to cope with the cold, Shunk found Pale Mirror to be a source of “isolation medication”. The pulsating rhythm of the opening song “Out Of Time” seems to act as the album’s heartbeat, bringing each mournfully meditative message to life. The rest of the album features similarly pensive titles such as “Don’t Call” and “You Won’t Stay” whose echoing vocals roll like a brooding fog across the lyrical landscape.
Though Pale Mirror was born in the icy darkness of winter, its spring release will precede a summer tour along the West Coast where Blue Glass will spend a couple intensive weeks working their way down to Southern California. While residents on the lower half of the coast may not be able to relate to the cold, the tones of reflection and metacognition are sure to be felt from north to south and Pacific to Atlantic. For listeners lucky enough to be on the West Coast, don’t miss out on the opportunity to join Blue Glass and Michael Shunk on a voyage of discovery and self-exploration. Beyond the tour, Pale Mirror will continue to captivate listeners from month to month. After all, regardless of the season, winter is coming.