Genre: Shoegaze, Bedroom Pop, Real Loner Shit
Sounds like: Nothing else out there
Some things in life are obvious, or at least they seem that way in retrospect. When watching late night infomercials or seeing “As Seen On TV” products on department store shelves, I stop and wonder why I didn’t invent them. They seem so simple and so obvious. But if so, then why am I sitting here writing about music instead of raking in the Benjamins? I think the idea behind this is a phenomenon in psychology called Hindsight Bias, which explains that people have a tendency to overestimate their ability to predict the outcome of an event after being exposed to the outcome.
For me, Gabe Holcombe provides another source of hindsight bias. I find myself wanting to hit my forehead in frustration when listening to music he produces as Vehicle Blues. That’s so simple, why didn’t I think of that?! Though in reality, Holcombe’s music is far from simple. It’s easy to confuse perfection with simplicity, and that’s exactly what Holcombe creates: perfection. He’s a master of parsimonious bedroom pop. His music is neither too flashy nor bland, and every detail makes perfect sense. Take 177 for example: Though I don’t know a single lyric to this song, it resonates a feeling of hopelessness to which I can relate. I have felt the feelings that I imagine influenced this song. And it’s hard to imagine that something with such unambiguous meaning didn’t originate from my own mind, but it didn’t. It didn’t because I am not Gabe Holcombe and I’ll never be able to write music as perfect as his. And that’s when the feeling of hopelessness sets in.
Note: If this is your first time hearing Vehicle Blues, then I feel a little sorry for you because all of his amazing Bridgetown Records releases (e.g., Koz Park) are sold out. If you dig 177, you can find it on his split with Jen Paul/No Lakes released on his very own Lillerne Tapes. While you're at it, you should also try to pick up a copy of his split with Trudgers as it’s also a gem!