Last year, we shared with you the news that the great French band Alcest, pioneers of the blackgaze (black metal x shoegaze) subgenre, were working on an album with Sigur Rós producer Birgir Jón Birgisson, which would altogether subtract the "black" from that equation. Said Alcest mastermind, Neige, of the songs he was working on: "I don’t think there are any metal music elements anymore, though a lot of very intense parts and dynamics are still there."
The album that resulted from those sessions, Shelter, is set for release in January 2014, and just as Neige suggested, it is a pure shoegaze record - and shoegaze of the gentlest, lushest, airiest, most ethereal order. I think it’s a fascinating album for a number of reasons (and I hope to write about it at greater length closer to its release date) but more immediately, and more importantly, it is a staggeringly beautiful album. We’ve got Shelter’s first single/video, "Opale," for you to sample above. It’s as bright and inviting as a green stretch of Austrian hillside in the middle of the day, the beginning of the spring. Check it out. -- Stereogum
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