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Whimsical: Bright Smiles & Broken Hearts (2019)

As you know, I love all kinds of music… there aren’t very many styles that I am not fond of, and yet many styles that I appreciate tremendously.

One style that I really love, especially if I am in *just* the right mood, is shoegaze (AKA dreampop). There is a gentleness to the sound despite the distortion, and the melodies tend to move over you like ocean waves… when it’s done right it’s sublime.

There are a lot of bands out there that just make artless noise, and I usually dismiss these as pleasant but irrelevant…

Whimsical is a wonderful exception, which is why I felt it important to introduce them to you.

Hailing from Griffith, Indiana, Krissy Vanderwoude and Neil Burkdoll’s Whimsical crafts dreams. They sound at once fresh and familiar. You NEED to check them out and get your hands on their albums! (Their music is available directly from the band via Bandcamp).

One thing in particular that I like about them is the fact that the vocals are more forward in the mix, and not buried under all the layers of guitars, as is so often the case within this genre of music. And I love her voice!

I bought their 2017 release, “Sleep to Dream”, a few years ago when it was first released and it is one which I really, really enjoy, so I was super excited to see they have finally finished a new album, titled “Bright Smiles & Broken Hearts“! They certainly took their time, but it shows: each track is meticulously crafted and has just the right vibe.

I would recommend them for fans of Ride, Slowdive, and Curve.

Obviously I bought the vinyl …and I couldn’t wait for it to arrive in the mail! I wasn’t disappointed!

To get this album released on vinyl, they ran a crowdsourcing campaign through a site called Qrates (pronounced “curates”.. get it? LOL). They are quite definitely indie… as their goal was only to sell 200 copies of the LP on beautiful transparent sunshine yellow vinyl!

Mine arrived here safe and sound and it sounds AMAZING! As of this posting, As of the time of this writing there were still a handful of copies available via the band’s Bandcamp listing, but a repress is unlikely as this is a very D.I.Y. release. (EDIT: THE LP is sold out, as are the CDs, but the album is still available digitally from Bandcamp)

My favourite tracks from the new album are “This is Goodbye”, “Last Dance” and “Trust”. (Unfortunately, due to the limits of vinyl, the track “Last Dance” was omitted from the vinyl edition, but included via download code) EDIT: April 2022 saw the release of their third album, “Melt“, which is also worth checking out!

ENJOY! Share, and remember to support the artist if you like it!

Available from Bandcamp:

And here is a Spotify Playlist for you:

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