Silks' 'Pressure Waves' Is a Heavy-Hitting Psychedelic Potion

BY Anthony BoirePublished Aug 18, 2023

On their shockingly fully-formed debut album, Silks boil a cauldron of vastly different genres into a heavy-hitting psychedelic potion. Five years in the making, Pressure Waves dances with memories of childhood, loss and longing as a variety of genres meld together to fit the recollections in question. 

Silks began as an intimate collaboration between Laura Bower (vocals/keys) and Eric Berall (guitars/vocals), but has since grown to a four-piece dream rock powerhouse. Grooving throughout the dance-punk banger of a single, "Denim," Bower croons "Water running through a ditch you've been digging since you were / A young child digging fingers in the dirt / You found a worm singing." Lyrics wobble between half-formed sensory memories and present-day, heart-pounding anxieties; on the hooky "Beetlebug," Bower cautions, "You're freaking out all the people / You're freaking out always / And you want to disintegrate." The blood in these songs' veins runs across time, forming connections between the tiny, stumbling children we once were and the neurotic, lonely adults we become. Silks write personal love letters to the ones they've lost, including their previous selves. 

The title Pressure Waves is entirely fitting; water runs through each of these songs, but it never loses its sense of growing tension. Sean Singh's heavy, driving drums keep these songs revving at a pace that's consistently danceable (and even moshable, on single "3 to 1") — the rhythm section, filled out by Noah Siegel on effects-laden bass, always pours fuel on the smouldering embers set by Bower and Berall. Things lean into grinding post-punk as the synths, guitars and vocals glide hazily over the breakneck grooves, with "Pick Up the Pieces" ripping at a clip that never lets up, guitar swelling higher and wilder and further out of control. 

It's a feat that these songs were recorded live off the floor, as everything here sounds incredibly tight, with the textures dialed in. The creaky slow-burn on "Hiding in the Dark" — a masterful meditation on loss and forgiveness — builds to a goosebumps-inducing climax with emotive, wrenching guitar work by Berall. Shimmering closer "Eyes Out" saves the best work for last, culminating in a heartbreaking coda where Bower gives her most delicate, spidery performance on the record. "One day I'll wake up from this silly dream / And I will miss you / And I will miss you." She repeats the last phrase like a chilling mantra, tying up this immensely promising debut LP with a tearful promise. 

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