“Everybody in this whole wide world has gone straight-up insane,” Gabe Fulvimar sings about three-quarters of the way through his sophomore LP under the Gap Dream moniker. And here’s what the whole world losing its collective sanity sounds like: a burst of brassy, artificial-sounding beats fading into a warm, expansive rainstorm of sound that ebbs and flows like soundtracked dream music. But everyone is going insane together, Fulvimar included. When he sings “Gonna dig myself in with a bottle of gin tonight” in the same track, the listener is getting out a glass to join him, tongue out, eyes rolling back. The cult of Gap Dream proposes a toast.
Gap Dream’s 2012 self-titled debut utilized the same kind of Ableton drum thuds and stirred beats, but where that album bathed its electrified tech sounds in lo-fi reverb, Shine Your Light embraces its roboticness. Fulvimar has shed the fuzzy safety blanket in favor of complete ownership of his synthetic computer sounds. Shine Your Light has a much more imperative feel too; even the track names (Shine Your Light, Shine Your Love, Snow Your Mind) are phrased like commands. Fulvimar is in charge.
Album opener, Shine Your Light, kicks off the album like a pinball machine on a winning streak. Fulvimar creates a sense of urgency using scrambled beats that jockey for a spot on top of the percussion that’s already thumping hurriedly in the background. That flows into Chill Spot, a languid, barely there post-rock mumble. You’re From The Shadow is the album’s most anthemic track. It’s a self-deprecating, bass-heavy jam with a chorus that’s as contagious as the LP’s stand-out pop-glitch single, Fantastic Sam.
On the anti-romance jam, Immediate Life Sentence, Fulimar convinces himself, “I don’t need to get laid that bad/I can just stay home and get high.” This combination of laziness and confidence is the crux of Shine Your Light. Fulvimar has, all at once, figured out what works and built up the self-assurance to do just that.