Jam-packed with tunes specially designed for summertime cruising, the charming indie pop of Gladshot’s Burn Up and Shine is incredibly rewarding.
Based out of NYC, Gladshot features the duo of Mike Blaxill and Debbie Andrews at the front of the action. Their overjoyed harmonies flood each track, offering a sense of elation and vulnerability all at once over the happily-textured tunes. Blaxill’s guitar melds smartly with Andrews’ full keyboards, creating a sunlit sonic synthesis of epic proportions.
With the sparkling, shiny-toothed 60s pop genre as their starting point, Gladshot fires up a hook-laden ode to sunbeams, love, and good humour on Burn Up and Shine. Featuring production by John Agnello, it’s a record that virtually burns with cheery daylight and teems with downy clouds.
Of course, it’s not all lollipops and rainbows and Gladshot knows just how and when to reel it in.
The lively male/female harmonies tender the record an enchanting quality, giving guitar-led tunes like the lead-off single “Fabulous Friends” a special sort of pop. The layered guitar-and-keyboard sound and captivating chorus make it the ideal refrain for rolled-down car windows on a luminous Sunday drive.
Punctuated by a twosome of guitar solos, “Early Light” is a feel-good rocker with enthusiasm to spare. Tim Bright joins Blaxill and the pair rips out some rock-hard riffage over Andrews’ keys.
Burn Up and Shine, Gladshot’s third album, really makes some serious hay out of the use of harmonies. Debbie and Mike have voices that engage stylishly, forming sweet ecstasy with just the right pitch and enunciation.
Andrews sings lead on a few numbers, including the guitar-built “He Was Gone” and the beautiful “1961 (You Could Still Get Lost).”
Guest vocalist Lisa Lowell adds her vocal talents to the album. She features on “I Can’t Tell,” an intimate number infused with affectionate, gorgeous harmonies.
Gladshot’s Burn Up and Shine really is a marvellous summertime cruising record. The shimmering harmonies, dynamic guitar, and unrelenting pop zest unite to create a truly enjoyable piece of work. High-spirited without being tacky and ecstatic without sounding strained, the music of Gladshot will be fuelling balmy sundown cruises for a long time to come.