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White Light Strobing

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Album Review

Released on Calvin Johnson's K Records, Desolation Wilderness' White Light Strobing evokes that same fluttery feeling you might expect from the title. Along with guitarist Andrew Dorsett, bassist Adam Oelsner, and drummer Evan Hashi playing their respective instruments, Nicolas Zwart plugged synthesizers, guitars, xylophones, and glockenspiels into dusty tube amps and vintage effects units to drape everything in a sweeping blanket of washed out spring reverb and vibrating tremolo. It's a down-home, cozy, alt-country meets shoegaze tone made popular by bands like My Morning Jacket and Galaxie 500 with a slightly softer and warmer approach. Like on those bands' recordings, Zwart's lyrics hover breezily in the background, hauntingly like voices in hazy dreams. They're too liquefied to be deciphered easily, but between the oohs and ahs are lulling images of love and loss all swirling together in one ethereal dynamic that's perfect for hammock relaxation.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Olympia, WA's Desolation Wilderness borrows cues from dreamy electro-pop and uses a loose analog recording method -- aided in no small degree by a Roland Space Echo, two Maestro Echoplex delay units, and several spring reverbs -- to create a narcotic, dusty take on the style. The concept was conceived in 2005 as a solo project of Nicolas Zwart, who started recording vocal and guitar tracks while he was still a senior at Olympia's liberal arts school, Evergreen College. His first album, the narcotic...
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White Light Strobing, Desolation Wilderness
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