Get To Know Gloam, The Perth Quartet Pushing the Boundaries of Shoegaze

Get To Know Gloam, The Perth Quartet Pushing the Boundaries of Shoegaze

Having just released their latest scintillating single ‘Hinder’, we get to know the four-piece

Image credit: James Kilian

After releasing their self-titled four-track EP at the end of 2022, Boorloo-based Gloam have clearly been hard at work in the studio as heard on their freshly released single, Hinder.

Taking their sound in a bigger, heavier and more atmospheric direction, Hinder owes as much to The Smashing Pumpkins as it does to My Bloody Valentine, with some metal influences thrown in for good measure.

When it comes to the meaning behind Hinder, it deals with the fact "That fear may manifest in various forms," tells the band. "Maybe it's a reluctance to confront situations, an aversion to change, or perhaps another internal qualm. In essence, Hinder encapsulates the daunting conflict of resigning oneself to a subpar reality rather than mustering the courage to enact change or improvement. It's an abstract that addresses the interplay between comfort and progress, relating to internal conflicts stunting the actualisation of self-fulfilment."

No slouches on the live stage either, despite only forming a couple of years ago, Gloam have shared the stage with international acts Deafheaven (USA), Movements (USA), Boston Manor (UK), Touché Amoré (USA) and Hubris (CH) as well as a collection of Perth alternative favourites including Daybreak, Idle Eyes, No Brainer, Pinwheel, Shangrila and Vacant Home.

To celebrate the release of Hinder, we got to know Gloam!

How did Gloam form?

Gloam started off as a super casual alt rock project under the name ‘Russets’ between Oli & Rowan, along with another close friend Brayden Willmott (Red Giant Mirage). After a couple of songs had been written we roped Oakie into playing bass as Rowan had an existing relationship through doing photography work with his Melodic hardcore band at the time ‘Among Them’. After recording a two-track that never saw the light of day, Brayden left the band to pursue other musical endeavours, Covid hit and there was a long hiatus. As Oli and Rowan were living together for some years, they inevitably started writing music together again which later turned out to become our Self-Titled EP.

We were still short a drummer however, but one day while Oli was jamming with newly found friend George, at his parents shed in Baldivis, he’d asked if we were looking for a drummer. Long story short, it was a match made in heaven, and here we are some years later, making music that we all love to play and share with whoever will listen. By this point, we felt our music had matured a great deal so a rebrand of sorts was well needed. I think the decision to settle on ‘Gloam’ as a new band name was immediately unanimous once Oli suggested it in the group chat. And that’s how it all kicked off.

Who’s in the band and what do you all do?

We’re a four-piece post-shoegaze band. We have Rowan Hardy (he/him) on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Oli Booth (they/them) on lead guitar/back-up vocals, Oakie Diggins (he/him) on bass and George Blacklock (he/him) on drums.

Tell us about your creative process?

The majority of the time the ideas stem from Oli. They will focus on an atmosphere or mood coming from a couple of chords they’ve found while noodling on the guitar, and spend a while trying to find out where it might take them. They’ll usually kick off with a very rough drum beat and start layering in a lead guitar melody and bass to compliment. Once there’s at least a couple of minutes worth of layered sound, it’ll get sent to the team to get some feedback. From there we start to develop it into something that feels like a song, with George tracking scratch drums over the demo.

Vocally, the process usually starts with melodies and vowel sounds which Rowan will pitch to the band via demo. Once we’re all happy with the general sound, the lyrics will start to formulate after sitting on the existing melodies for a while. Lyrics often turn out quite abstract which is a deliberate effort. However, will often gravitate around a specific subject matter, whether it be a feeling, significant event, or even an idea of certain imagery.

What do you hope people take away from your music?

Having considerably abstract lyrics, I hope that people will take away something unique to them, based on their own personal experiences. So I’d like to think that there isn’t going to be any ‘obvious’ way to interpret our songs lyrically.

We hope our listeners come away from our music feeling a sense of content and acceptance with any melancholic emotions they might be experiencing; a sense of calmness despite the loud, fuzzy guitar tones and heavy drums. We hope our songs might be used as a platform for self-reflection, with a bias toward self-compassion.

Tell us about your new single Hinder?

Hinder is a pretty special song for all four of us, I think. It brought together a lot of conventions from a few different genres that make ‘Gloam’ a type of music that we love in the most genuine way possible. Smashing Pumpkins’ and their overdriven/fuzzy guitar tones and undulating riffs, particularly in ‘Siamese Dream’, were a pretty key initial inspiration here, along with major influence coming from the typical momentum and drive throughout any given Deafheaven track.

After we had a demo we were happy with, we took the track to our dear friend Cameron Murphy from Opaque Audio, who we had worked with on our previous record. Cam feels, in a lot of ways, like a silent member of the band. Having been the ship’s captain for this release from pre-production stages through to final masters, his influence on this band is certainly an undoubted presence. I think what makes working with Cam so special for us is that he has a good understanding of all the genres we tend to draw from, so as soon as a member of the band mentions a reference outside of the obvious trajectory of the sound, he’s right there with us.

Thematically, the song is quite a personal one. It’s essentially an abstract, journal-entry of sorts that explores the complex human tendency to resign oneself to a subpar reality, rather than mustering the courage to enact change or create improvement. Overall, it’s a well-done letter to whoever has pushed past these internal conflicts.

What's coming up for the rest of the year?

We have a five-track EP coming out by the end of the year, which ‘Hinder’ is a part of. Other than that, we have a few unannounced shows booked in June and the later half of the year which we’re suuuuuuper excited about, especially since we’re finally getting to perform some of these new songs that we’ve been working hard on.

How can fans best support your music?

Come to our shows! The best way to support any artist I’d say (especially on the local scene), is going down to their headliner shows. It’s certainly not news that the music industry is still trying to bounce back from the pandemic with several venues closing, bands having to bump their merch prices etc, but honestly just coming down to shows and being present with artists that are bringing you original music is the best way to show support I’d say. There’s really no better feeling than getting to perform to a room full of people.

I’d say other than buying tickets to our shows, buying merch is the biggest way to financially support us, plus you get dope threads in return so it’s really a win for everyone. Streaming our music is a little to no cost way to support any independent artists as well. If people are in a position to support us financially, grabbing the songs from our Bandcamp is a way to see funds back into the band. We also really love getting messages from people that’ve really connected with our music because at the end of the day, that’s why any of us started playing music I think.

What have you been listening to lately?

We’re a little all over the place as a band, but we like to think it makes for creative output haha.

George: Lebanon Hanover - ‘Besides the Abyss’

Oli: The new release from No Future & ‘The Slow Dying of the Great Barrier Reef’ by Bismuth

Oakie: ‘TANGK’ by Idles & ‘Three’ by Four Tet

Rowan: Trauma Ray & Downward’s recent ‘Split’ record, and ‘et cetera, etc’ by dust

Gloam's new single Hinder is out now

GLOAM Hinder SingleArtwork

Follow Gloam: Instagram / Facebook

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