Lightfoils, “Addict”

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I’ve always wondered how much attention shoegaze bands pay to their lyrics. They’re always unintelligible, caught in the swirl of guitars and noise, a simple reminder of the humanity behind the music rather than an exposition of some sort of lyrical tenet (unlike in folk or hip hop). The point is to put the vocals on the same plane as the instrumental music, which makes shoegaze a more communal treatment of the music as a whole. So in the proper shoegaze “tradition,” not a single word in Lightfoil’s new track “Addict” can actually be understood.

The Chicago quintet is set to release their debut album Hierarchy next week, but until then we have “Addict” to soundtrack our late night drives through some sprawling city (yeah, I can’t disassociate that one scene in Lost In Translation with that atmosphere anymore). The track evokes that familiar chilly feeling, with vocalist Jane Zabeth’s slicing melodies just barely escaping the tempest of guitars and drums. The vocals are synth-like at times, bringing to mind My Bloody Valentine when Bilinda Butcher takes the vocal helm. Speaking of MBV, I could probably list every influential shoegaze band in trying to describe Lightfoil’s sound: it seems like an homage to the giants of the genre. That said, this is shoegaze when it shines, and “Addict” is a prime example of that.

Hierarchy is out July 8 via Saint Marie Records.