It’s hard to say what makes some songs feel nostalgic even though you’ve never heard them before. Maybe it’s the quality of the tones you hear, or the familiar melodies that sound like childhood. Whatever that magic element is, groundislava has captured it with groundislava ii.

I first got into groundislava when I saw him at Mississippi Studios a few years ago. He turned a crowd of arms-crossed head bobbers (myself included) into a crowd of people fully enjoying themselves. There is so much energy put into both the recordings and live shows, and you can feel it.

The newest release “groundislava ii” (out this January) is a sequel to his first release groundislava inspired by “video games, retro synthesizers, science fiction movies, and the sounds of the 1980’s”. groundislava ii is a collection of previously unreleased works pulled into a compact narrative that delicately weaves those sounds into a cohesive, tight piece of work. The single “Never Told You” is a chillwave masterpiece full of huge drums and fat synths reminiscent of Com Truise. “Micro Impasse” is a quiet piece that makes me feel like I’m buying potions in an RPG. “Flawed Fortress” instantly transports you back to childhood playing on the SNES on the couch, yet the feel of the song is something completely new. His other single “Wait Forever” is a playful melody mixed with the swing-hat jams of the 90’s that evolves into house-y chiptune gold.

Throughout the album you get the feel that groundislava is paying homage to the sounds of childhood. But he doesn’t leave us there. Groundislava ii isn’t simply bringing us back to those hours spent on the Nintendo. It’s forging a narrative between past and future, stepping into the sound in between.

groundislava ii is out January 26, 2018 <3



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