A Seattle band. Jazzmasters drenched in reverb. Post-shoegaze rock, dream pop, power pop and noise. Bluesy, dreamy, shreddy, psychedelic.
The latest: “Oh, To Be Weightless in the Sky” (released 10/21/22)
Some love for our 2019 5-song EP “Dream the Currents” (listen below):
Big Takeover Magazine (print edition #84) in Jack’s Top 40: “… this Seattle group’s third EP over three years finds a distinct landing spot. Imagine Swervedriver’s slower, moodier material if Adam Franklin and Jimmy Hartridge dug Television’s Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine more than The Stooges’ James Williamson; that’s “Parachute On.” Whereas “Minor Mendings” comes from ’80s pre-shoegaze post-punk, like Savages, mashing McGeoch-period Banshees with Bickers-era House of Love…. Mostly, Dream is a galvanizing guitar fiesta, squalling, kneading, gnashing and glimmering into the night.”
KEXP: “This Seattle band’s third EP is a fine set of shoegazerish dream-pop.”
Take Effect Reviews: “…timeless and captivating musicianship…swirling guitar work…intricate drumming. A very accomplishing [sic] outing, the tunes here all embrace dream-pop, psyche-pop and the adventurous side of indie-rock in the most mature ways, and the only real flaw to be found is that 5 tracks from Guest Directors is just not enough. An LP, please?”
Ball of Wax (reviewing the song “Parachute On”): “…occupies an interesting space between (or inclusive of) shoegaze and power pop. The song starts with a fairly straightforward verse/chorus arrangement, with singer/guitarist Julie D’s vocals both understated and commanding, her guitar and Gary Thorstensen’s intertwining playfully yet intentionally. (None of that tired rhythm/lead dichotomy for Guest Directors.) The rhythm section of Rian Turner and Charlie Russo provide the perfect support system to keep this sonic parachute aloft. After two verses, the entire second half of the song is given over to a mostly instrumental coda, the guitars further winding themselves up and releasing tension, building and folding in on themselves before the whole band comes crashing down together in a carefully controlled detonation. I can only imagine how delightful this joyous noise is live; I look forward to seeing for myself.”
AltRevue: “Guest Directors’ sound will evoke comps to earlier alt favorites such as Breeders, in short they’re stellar.”
Divide and Conquer (4.0 out of 5): “…dynamic and catchy but not predictable… “Minor Mendings” was the strongest song to me. The song starts with a slick drum pattern and dark waves of guitar feedback. There is a syncopated bass line that mirrors a similar pattern to “Airbag” by Radiohead. All the elements come together on the verse and I also thought the uplifting almost angelic vocals was where the singer shined. The song falls into beautiful chaos before getting back to the verse. Around the four-minute mark the song gets into post-rock territory with a wall of sound…..There are a lot of things in this EP which made me love music so much in the first place. Don’t pass this up.”
Nada Mucho says in their 41 for 2018: “… songs that alternately shimmer and hammer. These are songs that are perfect to score a rainy bus ride, or a day of introspection, but they absolutely explode live. Of all the bands exploring shoegaze in Seattle, Guest Directors are perhaps the best at getting the balance of mood and power right.”
Northwest Music Scene says: “… borrowing the tastiest elements from several genres resulting in an energetic and psychedelic dream-pop blend that will stick in your head.”
Guest Directors is a group of guides: comfortably demonstrating a familiarity with the sonic landscape of their native Northwest and poised to lead wherever its audience needs. The quartet’s confident chemistry and ambitious spirit eschew typical routes in favor of new paths brimming with honest secrets and bold challenges.
Their kaleidoscopic instrumentation is comprised of the delightfully tangled Jazzmasters and moody vocals of co-leads, Gary Thorstensen and Julie D., as well as Rian Turner’s volatile drumming and Charlie Russo’s propulsive bass work. The group has mastered its musical surveillance, recognizing each bit of sonic space as an opportunity for attention, examination, and artful refinement. And whether the moment calls for scaling peaks or wading through turbulent waters, the group is unwaveringly prepared, willing, and able.
Guest Directors’ spooky and soulful music evokes images of evergreen silhouettes, dreamy breezes, and the power of seemingly perpetual precipitation. Their forthcoming EP, “Dream the Currents,” evokes ghost-like shimmering and half-moons moaning to their cousin constellations. It’s the next step in what has amounted to an annual progression of EPs demonstrating harmonic, rhythmic, and stylistic explorations that hover around a familiar sonic center.
With Guest Directors, you will never feel lost. Instead, the band will help lead you to the spots that have always been your own.
Some love for our previous EPs:
TBTCI says “An absolutely inspirational guitars work, which picks up references in 80’s icons, read: Johnny Marr and Will Sergeant, combined with the experimental quality of Sonic Youth.
Captured in the Light has exactly these two focal angles, the melody and the distortion confront each other in the four sound pearls.
The Guest Directors are literally a direct descendant of the guitar bands of the 90’s, and with a plus, it succeeds in absorbing other elements sounding absolutely modern.”
Northwest Music Scene says “Guest Directors’ debut EP These Beautiful Things is jam-packed with ear-caressing reverb-soaked soundscapes, toned-down and mood-setting vocals, and really sharp songwriting all throughout its four tracks.”
Brazilian blog The Blog That Celebrates Itself says (in a Portuguese to English translation): “...powerful melodies, evoking sound walls, sometimes violent in dense ones and charged with melancholy, all of which generating connections with people of the caliber of a Swervedriver or Autolux.”
“These Beautiful Things” was recorded with Tad Doyle @ Witch Ape Studios, and released August 12, 2016. Listen here!
- “Oh, To Be Weightless in the Sky” available now October 21, 2022