Gauntlet Hair: Gauntlet Hair

Gauntlet Hair: Gauntlet Hair

B+

Gauntlet Hair

Album: Gauntlet Hair
Label: Dead Oceans

Gauntlet Hair’s self-titled debut is less a collection of individual songs than it is an endless loop of blissed-out reverb. The record is mired in shimmering harmonies and chamber-echo vocals that become less and less discernable with each listen. But that’s sort of the point here, isn’t it? The kids call it chillwave for a reason, and even though that term is debatable, there is something to be said for Gauntlet Hair’s ability to just chill out. Like a ripple into a tidal wave, the album crests and then starts again, tracks washing into each other in impetuous crashes and quiet movements. The effect is calming, and emphatically so. There’s a tranquility in all the din, a natural cadence to the unnatural synthesized rhythms. The standout tracks “Keep Time” and “Lights Out” make good use of clattering basslines and handclap tempos. Both thunder on, then noisily fade out, an almost-homage to the shoegaze school of thought. But the record’s real appeal is its hypnotic dance from one track to another. The worst of it? It’s a mess of over-processed noise that sounds like one really long song. Incidentally, that’s also what makes it such a layered, interesting listen.