Doomgaze is one of those genres that I am completely unable to pry myself from. I feel like a changed person ever since I stumbled upon this magical style of music. It is so effortless to lose myself in these immense, almost cosmic soundscapes that take me on an ethereal journey in a way that very few other genres can replicate. As you can expect, there are a plethora of unknown artists out there that make this kind of music and I want to shed some light on artist deserving of your attention, shedfromthebody. Join me as we dip our toes into her sophomore album, To Hold The Ripened Sun.
I first discovered shedfromthebody with her debut record, A Dead and Aimless Hum, which was released in the middle of 2020. It left quite a strong first impression on me, leaving me wanting more music along that vein. Given that we are over a year since that album dropped, I wasn’t yet beginning to think about a new record from her so soon. Despite that, To Hold The Ripened Sun dropped out of nowhere and made the last month of 2021 even more exciting for me. This new album carries right where A Dead and Aimless Hum left off.
By the forest-y, enchanting essence found in this music, you can guess that artist hails from one of the Nordic countries; you’d be correct. shedfromthebody is a solo project born in the icy depths of Finland, just outside of Helsinki. Her music isn’t strictly doomgaze, as her talents blend grunge and alternative metal with the Nordic, ritualistic doom ethos. I’d hate to resort to a cheap comparison but imagine if Lana Del Rey decided to go down a heavy shoegaze route; shedfromthebody would be exactly that. I say that regarding the overall pace and atmosphere of the music as opposed to any vocal or lyrical similarities. I honestly think the slow, brooding nature of LDR’s music would work quite beautifully in a different musical context and To Hold The Ripened Sun is a testament to that.
“We’ll Be Lifting Our Arms To the Sky in Joy and Wonder” is a prime example of the hypnotic complexion shedfromthebody deliberately weaves into her compositions. The cascading, fuzzy instrumentation gives the tracks a fair amount of heft while her soaring, celestial vocals swoop in to guide your weary soul to a tranquil place of rest. Matter of fact, nearly every track on this record is precisely just that; gritty, doomy, and absolutely heavenly slow burners that is pure medicine for the soul. “Shrines” dials it back, allowing the lavish, tender instrumentation to create the most exquisite of sonic landscapes while her soothing vocals washes away all that is troubling you.
This is one of those records in which most the songs sound pretty homogenous in terms of structure, but there is comfort in consistency and familiarity. Regardless, shedfromthebody‘s music is undeniably entrancing and unique, and “To Hold The Ripened Sun” is no exception. Although most tracks follow a linear song structure, there are plenty of little embellishments making for a charming listen overall, such as the kalimba in “Hours” and the weeping violin in “Shrines”. The standout ballad, “In The Pines”, is sure to worm its way into your ears with the back and forth of the distorted and airy vocals making up its chorus. I just want to drown in all the musical textures that are found all over this album.
“To Hold The Ripened Sun” is the type of record that takes your mind through a numbing (in a good way), spiritual escapade; no mind altering substance needed! It is a sublime experience that never fails to distract me from reality and soothe all that is troubling me. There is peace of mind knowing that you have music to fall back on to use as a form of self-therapy and shedfrombody fits the bill. I can already guarantee you will get lost in these dense, lavish soundscapes as you would get lost in a sprawling forest, now the question is are you willing to let that happen?