“puts shoegaze back into a state of grace”
“luminous and enchanting”
We couldn’t talk about 2018 without mentioning Bipolar Explorer. The New York dreampop/shoegaze duo continues to deliver, even though we left them with a very poignant Dream Together last year. This year they decided to kill two birds with one stone first with Sometimes In Dreams released on January 1st.
Once again, the couple Summer Serafin (spoken word) and Michael Serafin-Wells (guitar, bass, percussion, tape loops, vocals, spoken word) send the listener into a parallel yet reassuring universe with
Sometimes In Dreams. With this double album, Bipolar Explorer bring us with them diving into their intimacy in the most solemn and purest way possible. The first seconds of the album we are made to hear is indeed Summer Serafin’s voice on “You Are Loved (Summer’s Theme) before her spouse takes the reigns with stripped and celestial spell-bounding compositions as such as “Letter To The Darkest Star”, “Ocean”, or “So Anyway”.
Alternating between Summer Serafin’s spoken word passages and Michael Serafin-Wells’s emotional flights of lyricism, Sometimes In Dreams is made of several chapters, inviting us into the very intriguing world of Bipolar Explorer. The New York duo astounds us, of course, with this much beauty whether on “Out” and “Necessary Weight” or with the brilliant “And At That Hour, Above (Perigee-Syzygy)”, “The Choral Text Passage” and other “Dead End Street” ; making everything whole. This double album aims to be both cathartic and luminous, necessary for the band to exorcise all that’s eating them inside as it’s the case with “Any Day” and “Lost Life”.
This eighth album of the New York couple puts shoegaze back into a state of grace.
Eleven months have thus passed after their moving double album Sometimes In Dreams. And yet this has not been enough for Bipolar Explorer to come back and enchant us again for this end of the year, this time with a more conceptual album titled Til Morning Is Nigh: A Dream Of Christmas.
With Christmas season approaching (and it’s become more than a custom), artists and bands have decided to follow the trend so as to remind us of the festive aspect of the event, and the New York duo has gotten on board too but with an extra touch of creativity. With the help of an unknown French named Sylvia Solanas who quotes several passages of the Old Testament on short tracks (“Before We Could Be Found”, “The Faithful Delivered”, “Even Forever”…), Bipolar Explorer explores (no pun intended) the Christmas tradition with their luminous and enchanting dreampop/shoegaze through tracks still as minimalist but also dreamlike with among others “Bethlehem”, “Oh That We Were There” and “Mille Anges Divins”.
Michael Serafin-Wells and Summer Serafin, more discreet, as well as their French guest give us a new glimpse of Christmas with solemn compositions such as “Gabriel”, “Midwinter”, as well as “Angel Frequency”.
Til Morning Is Nigh: A Dream Of Christmas is quite a bold tale divided into 23 musical chapters. If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas, Bipolar Explorer is more than an option.