While some songs are forgettable, there are some gems on Shields' third LP.
With this third LP, Alex Shields has graduated from his London bedroom into a full-on studio project. Still, traces remain of his earlier lo-fi introspection, especially in the acoustic dreaminess of ‘Bones’, ‘Streams’, and the Perfume Genius-esque beautiful dysfunction of ‘Balloons’. But elsewhere – notably the syrupy shoegaze of ‘Aurora’ and the slacker-pop of ‘Origami’ – ‘Whirlpool’ steps into the outside world. Guest appearances from Echo Lake’s Linda Jarvis and Ides’ Alanna McArdle bolster that confident atmopshere and, while some songs are forgettable, there are some gems.