Is this the Summer album you are looking for? Out of the blue I was invited to review Jen Gloeckner’s new release Vine. Intrigued, I found an artist after my own heart, creating blissed-out ambient electronica. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably not have heard of Jen Gloeckner, yet, but I promise you’ll be soothed by her atmospheric, trippy dream-pop.
Sprung as if from nowhere, the mysterious Jen Gloeckner is an upcoming composer from Dubuque, Iowa. Plugging away in her home studio since the early 2000’s, creating unique sounds in her bedroom that wouldn’t feel out-of-place in the sleepy American town of our collective subconscious, Twin Peaks. Tracks like ‘Counting Sheep‘ on Gloeckner’s current release Vine will transport you to the Road House Bar, as it echoes that other famous Iowan songstress Julee Cruise’s memorable collaborations with Lynch and Badalamenti.
Nostalgia is a strong theme running through Vine, evoking sounds of another place somewhere just outside of time. Gloeckner’s musical influences are eclectic, and reminiscent of many of my favourite artists. There is definitely a 90’s flavour; warm dark electronic dance music (think Massive Attack or Enigma) also it’s evocative of 90’s soundtrack work (by Graeme Revell, or W.P.Corgan), with lyrics that skew a little cheesy, but somehow that fits. There are even some beautiful soaring strings (for example on ‘Ginger Ale’), akin to of those on ‘Sunday’ from Bowie’s 2002 Heathen album.
If I had to make a minor criticism it would be that Vine doesn’t necessarily hang together well as an album, (although perhaps it’s an old-fashioned notion that albums should be coherent). I find Gloeckner a little inconsistent as a vocalist, and the oft employed nasal Steve Nicks vibe can be tiresome. Style-wise channeling Lana Del Ray one moment and Jon Anderson the next, I can’t shake the feeling Gloeckner hasn’t truly found her own voice yet. That said, I will be ready and excited when she does!
In Summary: Vine is definitely a grower. Dreamy and uplifting, a sunny summer afternoon of an album.
Who will like it: Fans of Twin Peaks, Vapour-wave, Clint Mansell’s Drive OST and Lana Del Ray
You can find out more and listen for free here: www.jengloeckner.com