The first release by Portland trio HOOPDREAMS, which features two members of indie psych band Nurses is now available. Dark Summer is a limited-edition pressing of 500 picture disks featuring a red, full moon.
Also available on iTunes:
To introduce the band, Redefine Magazine has made a call to artists to create videos for the single Spirit Momentum from Dark Summer. The resulting works by various artists are available for viewing here:
Hoopdreams is a Portland and Seattle based project that began as a collection of songs intended solely for the ears of NBA players. Composed of members Ryan Chapman, Aaron Chapman, and John Bowers, Hoopdreams creates songs that explore the limits and infinities of human possibility, and the bewildering sense of disembodiment inherent in the act of creation. Their debut Dark Summer is an oddly evocative, highly original collection of songs that breathes fresh life into the age-old theme of human experience in a vast, unknowable cosmos.
Relying less on conventional song-writing methods, and more on a method akin to paper mache, or pottery, Dark Summer is from the start almost physical in its presence. Chapman’s smooth haunting vocals drift in and out from song to song over an irregular terrain of distorted samples, drum machines, odd shapes and valleys, dunking planets into planetary rings, gliding over galaxy-sized mountains, moving through cosmos, micro-cosmos, micro-cosmos becoming cosmos and vice versa. The whole record evokes a landscape capable of becoming, disappearing, and changing scale at will. The layers upon layers of rich, textural sound seem infinite, moving in a continuous flux, and yet the feel of the whole is strikingly minimal. Darkness and emptiness are tempered by a sweet sense of primordial longing, like nostalgia for a pre-big-bang existence, or for our own celestial origins. The songs evoke the terror and awe, loneliness, yearning, and exhaustion of being a living thing amidst the whirl of the cosmos.
Despite its spacey overtones, however, Dark Summer is, in a sort of thievish way, a pop record at heart. Perhaps not overtly so, but it is sneakily masterful, immediately gratifying, unassumingly catchy-- even danceable at times. Through the dissonance and dark echoes emerges the shadows of pop songs, at times as clear a silhouette as the Air Jordan, at others a shifting mass whose inner workings are obscured, provoking our imaginations. Still other times they seem just an all-encompassing darkness or lightness, like a planet passing overhead. At all times Dark Summer is something rare and special- strange but coherent, deeply satisfying, and genuinely new.