Photo courtesy of Circuit Sweet
Story by Nathaniel Nichols / Contributing Writer
The Berlin one-man band behind Still Parade, Niklas Kramer, released his second studio album, “Soon Enough,” on Friday, causing all indie-lovers that love breathy vocals to go crazy.
Still Parade is a band that is recognized for its “chillwave” sound, a micro-genre categorized by a manifestation of dreamy retro vocals, synthesizers, a longing for nostalgia and a subtle warmth of fizzy instrumentals.
The title track, “Soon Enough,” presents itself as psychedelic rock. Kramer’s vocals remind me of a mix between The Beatles and Mac Demarco.
Kramer, interviewed by Clash Magazine, offered great insight into what the title track and the entirety of the record means to him.
“The title track on the album, ‘Soon Enough,’ tries to capture an ephemeral moment, like a beautiful sunset, that you know going to slip away,” Kramer said in the interview. “It’s not meant to be a whole metaphor for life or anything, but that’s one of the general vibes on the record, trying to hold on…”
You can check out the music video for “Soon Enough,” which looks as if its drenched in 8mm film, showcasing a 1970s vibe.
The record as a whole focuses more on the instrumentals rather than the vocals on songs like “What Happened?” and “Vitamin.” Throughout the album, Kramer sounds as if he’s talking to a lover and reminiscing about their time together, while other songs talk about how he’s trying to heal old wounds even if his lover doesn’t feel the same way.
A track that stands out to me on the record is “The Gathering.” In the beginning, there is an array of oohs that sound like an angelic choir. He is reflecting on the passion that he had in his relationship.
“I had keep my distance” / “I thought I was fine” / “You made me see the world like you.”
Midway through the song, the tempo completely changes with a flute accompanying his vocals sounding like a lullaby.
To get a taste of what the amount of creativity Kramer invokes with his listeners, he posted a 360-degree interactive music video for a song called “Chamber” that’s on his previous album “Concrete Vision.” The interactive process allows the user to choose to pan around an astral-like world, a world that looks like it could be included in a futuristic and extraterrestrial video game.
While making the new record, Kramer experimented with different ways to make the album sound different from his previous works.
An interview by The 405 Music And Culture Magazine shows how he tried to get a “reverb or delay sound” like what The Beatles used in their music. He used a tool called “varispeed” to get this effect.
“Varispeed is neither a tool nor an instrument, but a technique I used all over the album to make single elements sound otherworldly and more interesting without adding Reverb or Delaym,” he said in the interview. “As always the Beatles were one of the firsts to employ this technique. It’s very simple. You record something on your tape machine, then change the speed and record something else on the next track. Rewind and set the speed back to normal and you’re done. Most of the time it sounds really cool.”
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