Single: Subak – Staring At

Staring At is the first single by SF, Bay Area, bedroom-pop act Subak from their EP, Life of Your Dreams, which they are set to release in June.

On this song, they aim to pay homage to the 2010s indie rock artists who influenced them but in its hallucinatory experiments, the song’s roots seem to have reached back further still. Clearly giving prominence to DIY production and with a fondness for dreamy soundscapes, the fleeting 1 minute 37 seconds that Staring At stays for is light enough to be lost in the breeze – but there’s a certain magic in its brevity. Something so small shouldn’t feel cinematic but somehow this song achieves it- kaleidoscopic, sun-dappled, and dreamy. There is light seeping into this minute and a half of music, despite the more unsettling lyrical themes that creep almost unheard beneath its surface.

“…Everybody hurts the same
And everybody takes the blame.”

The bubbling guitar licks and occasionally impenetrable vocalisations evoke the pop experiments of Japanese home-recording auteur Boysage whilst the multi-tracked choral refrains that cling to the core of this breezy, miniature pop promenade feel like a forgotten French pop song from the 60s – all tree-lined avenues and mild hallucinations, the playful bass lines given undulating prominence.

The song plays, in its canter to its echoey reverb-laden conclusions, with psychedelic pop’s choral cultish mantras but then is gone- the last note snatched away unexpectedly leaving only a faded imprint.

This is an interesting window into what the E.P will provide the listener. I will look forward to hearing it upon its release.

Written by M. A. Welsh (Misophone)