Still Woozy’s debut album features gooey, avant-garde indie pop


Photo Courtesy of Still Woozy

Still Woozy poses in his new album cover. The album was released on Aug. 13.

By Sydney Wood, buzz assistant editor

Not many artists can successfully craft a signature sound within the vast realm of the indie-pop world.

Luckily for listeners worldwide, Still Woozy not only carved his own niche in the genre, but he recently released a debut album that embodies his trademark gooey style. If you haven’t listened to Still Woozy before, there’s no better place to start than “If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is.”

Sven Eric Gamsky, known professionally as Still Woozy, released “If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is” on Aug. 13. The album contains some of his previously released singles, like “Kenny” and “Rocky” and includes some new tunes, too, like “Get Down” and “Before You Were Mine.”

Over the course of his career, Gamsky has also released a myriad of singles and his 2019 “Lately EP” extended play.

The album title, “If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is,” is indicative of its content. Gamsky’s music certainly isn’t revolutionary, but honestly, it sure is nice.

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Gamsky’s music has a gooey quality that I haven’t heard replicated by other artists. His sound is fluid, yet his slightly blues-inspired technique of riding the backside of the beat creates a stickiness to his sound that’s deliciously addictive.

“Woof,” the album’s starting track, is one of my favorite tunes on the album and out of Gamsky’s entire discography. A single guitar melody plays at the tune’s beginning, quickly accompanied by a delicate, closed-hi-hat rhythm before Gamsky’s soft voice enters. At its chorus, the song suddenly unfurls like a blooming flower, full of slightly muted energy and life, as if gently persuading listeners to stop and stay for the rest of the album.

“Rocky” comes next on the lineup, with its gently pulsating energy that’ll have listeners head-boppin’ by the first verse. Next, “That’s Life” takes center stage with a funky bass line that carries the tune through verse to chorus and back to verse. The tune is super catchy, mostly because of Gamsky’s signature fluidity between song components, namely the bridge and final chorus.

Gamsky’s voice has a unique quality where he maintains the softness of his vocals regardless of the range he’s singing in. In “Whoopie,” his wispy vocals bounce between lower- and upper-mid-range, using simple, repetitive vocal melodies that are supplemented by playful percussive rhythms and sustained synth long tones.

One notable tune, “Get By,” features a slightly different side of Gamsky’s composition and is one of the album’s more intricate tunes. Instead of primarily featuring Gamsky’s vocals or instrumentals, “Get By” gives listeners a bit of everything, from intersecting instrumental melodies, scattered vocal harmonies and, of course, a groovy chorus.

Not many songs illustrate Gamsky’s gooey sound quality like “Before You Were Mine” does. At its beginning, the tune immediately hops into a groovy, syncopated percussive rhythm interspersed with instrumental melodies that give the tune a bit of structure. Although the tune bounces along, the rhythms stick to one another, slightly blurring together to create a thick, almost entrancing sonic texture.

“Drake” is one of the album’s more laid-back tunes, relying heavily on a repetitive piano riff that dips and swells in volume throughout the tune. Gamsky also shows off his vocals in his soft sustains and breathy falsetto, using his musical experience to create a perfect balance among the tune’s elements.

Both “Kenny” and “Window” were previous releases that were also included on the album. Gamsky released “Kenny” last April and “Window” in April 2020. Though the tunes are not unpleasant to listen to, they’re a bit too old to justify including them on the album.

In one of the album’s more monotonous tunes, “Get Down” fluctuates between muted verses and groovy choruses, creating a pleasant – but not phenomenal – song that’s a nice addition to the album, but it doesn’t really give listeners something they haven’t already heard in Gamsky’s other music.

“All Along” uses complementing instrumentals and vocal harmonies to bring the chorus to a God-tier groove level while the steady drum rhythms keep the tempo and fill any gaps between the verse-to-chorus transitions. Gamsky’s voice takes on a more solid, powerful tone during the chorus, also, contrasting a bit with his typical softer, breathy voice.

“WTF” features a fun instrumental interlude between the chorus and following verses, and the tune’s repetitive nature works in Gamsky’s favor, providing just the right balance of repetition without the tune becoming too monotonous.

“These Days,” the last tune on the album, embodies the soft moment after the last firework of the night is set off – the moment right after it hurtles into the sky and booms, leaving a faint smell of gunpowder and a quiet, almost subdued mood.

The tune lets listeners sit with the album, almost as if Gamsky is saying one last goodbye to his listeners before the record concludes. It’s not a high-energy finisher, but it embodies the quintessential Still Woozy sound and is the perfect closer to the album.

“If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is” is made for late-night drives, long walks and those moments where you’re lying on your bed, staring at the ceiling and having a minor existential crisis.

Gamsky’s music is a whimsical alcove within the bountiful garden of the indie-pop genre, and his debut album showcases his imaginative, avant-garde approach to music composition and fearlessness to delve headfirst into the unknown.


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