Release Date: Nov 12, 2013
Record label: Burger Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Punk/New Wave, Synth Pop
Gap Dream is the pop-psych-addled, half-lidded hazy reverie of Gabe Fulvimar. His first album followed the cassette-first, LPs/CDs-later format increasingly used by other folks on the Burger Records roster, but Fulvimar’s visions have gotten increasingly more widescreen on Shine Your Light. Recorded in part with help from Bobby Harlow (Conspiracy of Owls, The Go), this record soars with prime ’70s synth moves propped next to droning, sparkling garage-pop.
After releasing an excellent garage punk album for Burger Records in the beginning of 2013, Gap Dream returned near the end of the year with another album, Shine Your Light, that was just as fun and tuneful, but had a very different sound. Trading in the fuzzy psych and jangling guitars for a sleek and relatively sparse synth-driven approach, Gap Dream's sole owner/operator Gabriel Fulvimar has crafted a kind of low rent, woozily stoned Moroder-on-the-beach album that retains all the weirdness of his debut but ramps up the songwriting and adds some nice atmosphere. It's a mix of styles that works surprisingly well, especially because Fulvimar dials back any semblance of rocking out in favor of hitting his chill spot, as referenced in the one of the best songs on the record "Chill Spot," and staying there until the end.
After Cleveland's Gap Dream brought together elements of Spiritualized and '60s rock/pop on last year's debut album, these latest recordings find linchpin Gabe Fulvimar heading straight for your synth-humming heart..
It hasn't taken long, but Gabriel Fulvimar may have fully realized his vision. The man behind Gap Dream wrote, recorded and produced his 2012 self-titled debut, but it ultimately failed to find its footing, stumbling between meandering psych jams and electronically-infused garage numbers. But there were hints of Fulvimar's brilliance: when he did execute transitions within tracks between engaging synths and comfortable, almost carefree riffs, they were executed with precision.
Gabriel Fulvimar lives in Burger Records. If you’re familiar with the Fullerton, Calif., garage-rock stronghold, pretend you aren’t and put yourself in the position of a person who only knows that the Gap Dream frontman is living inside of a record store that also happens to be his label's office. And not even one of those 90s mega-chains like Tower or Sam Goody that could pass for a luxury apartment.
Few record labels commit thoroughly to a specific genre of music or go out of their way to champion specific aesthetic qualities in music anymore, and for good reason: it’s not a sound financial move to just release one kind of record over and over. It makes Burger Records’ commitment to releasing dingy, home-recorded garage rock records somewhat admirable: When you hear an artist is on Burger Records, you have a decent idea of what their album will sound like. Having said that, the Burger guys caught me off guard with Gap Dream.
“Everybody in this whole wide world has gone straight-up insane,” Gabe Fulvimar sings about three-quarters of the way through his sophomore LP under the Gap Dream moniker. And here’s what the whole world losing its collective sanity sounds like: a burst of brassy, artificial-sounding beats fading into a warm, expansive rainstorm of sound that ebbs and flows like soundtracked dream music. But everyone is going insane together, Fulvimar included.
We know this much: he hails from Cleveland (though now apparently living in California); his name is Gabe Fulvimar; he was in an early incarnation of the Black Keys; and he met the Burger Records folks a few years back. It surely must have been a match made in heaven, as they released his debut album as Gap Dream a few years ago to much critical acclaim. There’s definitely a nod to ‘90s indie heroes like Spiritualized and Sonic Youth in his music and his mind continues to expand (insert drug reference here).