A lot of reverb, but not really shoegaze. A lot of guitar hooks, but not really power pop. A lot of woozy female vocals, but not really dream pop. Guest Directors’ spooky and soulful music demonstrates a familiarity with the sonic landscape of their native Northwest, evoking images of evergreen silhouettes, dreamy breezes, and the power of seemingly perpetual precipitation.
From their first release (2016’s “These Beautiful Things”), to the pandemic era’s home-recorded 2021 EP (“Connected Heavens”), they have displayed a confident amalgamation of sounds generated with a nod to the pensive and melancholy over four EPs. Each recording exhibits harmonic, rhythmic, and stylistic explorations that hover around a familiar sonic center. Their kaleidoscopic instrumentation is comprised of delightfully tangled Jazzmasters and moody vocals, as well as volatile drumming and 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.
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.”
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.”
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.“>
Bluesy, dreamy, shreddy, psychedelic – Guest Directors are looking forward eagerly to creating and sharing more music. A full LP is in the works, slated to be released in early 2022.
Band Photos (right-click to download):
“Connected Heavens” 4-song EP (release date 5/7/21)
- “Connected Heavens” 4-song EP (streaming)
- “Connected Heavens” one-sheet
- “Connected Heavens” cover art: 1400×1400
“Dream The Currents” 5-song EP (release date 2/22/19)
- “Dream The Currents” 5-song EP (streaming)
- “Dream The Currents” one-sheet
- “Dream The Currents” cover art: 1400×1400
“Captured in the Light” 4-song EP (release date 3/30/18)
- “Captured in the Light” 4-song EP (streaming)
- “Captured in the Light” one-sheet
- “Captured in the Light” cover art: 1400×1400
“These Beautiful Things” 4-song EP (released 8/12/16)
- “These Beautiful Things” 4-song EP (streaming)
- “These Beautiful Things” one-sheet
- “These Beautiful Things” cover art: 400×400, 600×600, 1400×1400
- New single to be released in August July 18, 2021