bdrmm

I Don't Know

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Available on black wax

While the world became socially distanced in 2020, Hull’s post-shoegaze, dream pop, heavy guitar effects quartet bdrmm made the kind of impact with their debut album any young band would dream about. Released on the small Sonic Cathedral label in July that year, Bedroom was hailed as “a heady, forward-thinking shoegaze distillation” by Clash magazine.

Three years on, the band’s new album I Don’t Know takes the adventure somewhere else. It’s contemporary shoegaze in a way but much, much more. Again recorded at The Nave studio in Leeds with producer Alex Greaves (Working Men’s Club, Bo Ningen), the band’s trademark effects-laden guitars and motorik Neu! grooves have now been augmented by piano, strings, electronica, sampling and even occasional dance beats. Fragile ambient pieces line up against pulverising guitar chords, sometimes within the same song. There are ambient washes and delicate piano pieces, while influences or reference points veer from Radiohead to My Bloody Valentine to the Cure to Brian Eno - perhaps - the minimalist classical of the likes of Erik Satie. Whatever has produced it, it’s a bigger-sounding, more tuneful, really rather fantastic second statement by four young men who are rightly sure about what they’re doing and loving every minute of it.