Blue Tomorrows : Without Color

Blue Tomorrows’ Without Color is a breezy, gentle sway of an album. Songwriter Sarah Nienaber writes songs that feel like running into an old friend after many years have passed. Familiarity and long lost memories abound come rushing back like opening some mental time capsule. Jangly guitar, care-free synths, simple drum rhythms come together to back Nienaber’s dreamy, ethereal voice. Part gentle psych, part dream pop, and a touch of space-y country sway all come together to give Blue Tomorrows a unique and inviting charm.

Neinaber, who is also in Candace and Web of Sunsets, has joined up with Moon Glyph Records to give the world Blue Tomorrow’ debut LP. Without Color is , without a doubt, an amazing debut.

There are some sonic touchstones that come to mind when you first hit play. Mazzy Star is the obvious one. But if you dig a little deeper you’d hear the calm, quiet resolve of Yo La Tengo, the dreamy psych of Besnard Lakes, and the quiet reflection and misty morning mystery of the Pacific Northwest. Neinaber does an amazing job of taking influences and mixing them up into her own distinct sound.

“Sound of Moving” is a gorgeous pop track covered in echoes and reverberations. Simple instrumentation comes together to give the song a meditative quality, as Neinaber’s vocals hang beautifully just above the mix. “Crescent Moon Blues” has a bit of a country sway to it. Big acoustic strums are accompanied by a melodic bass line as the vocals feel light as air. Synth touches gives the song a dreamy feel. “Seashell Foxtrot” veers almost into ambient and drone territory, opening on beautifully lilting notes cascading to nowhere. A voicemail from Sarah Neinaber’s Uncle Tim plays in the background like a ghost from the past. It’s a beautiful and haunting piece.

Elsewhere, title track “Without Color” sounds like pure spacebo country. Gorgeous three-part harmonies, slide guitar, and a country sway brings to mind Workingman’s Dead-era Grateful Dead, with just a hint of galactic magic for good measure. “Blackstone” closes the album out with an almost 80s pop sensibility. Neinaber proves to be adept at weaving together country, pop, psych, and alternative into a tapestry of gorgeous, ethereal beauty.

Without Color is a stunning little debut. Hidden under low key songs and subtle melodies is a deeper trip. A big sky record of contemplation and reflection, all under the guise of an afternoon stroll or an evening drive under the stars.

7.9 out of 10

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