EP Review – Starts With S by Shiny Times (2021) (Self released)


Kim Weldin’s, Shiny Times solo project first came to my attention when my favourite cassette label (Shiny Happy Times) released the stunning fragility of her 2019, Can’t Be Depressed album. Before that she was much more widely known for being one half of the husband/wife Tape Waves duo.
Thankfully, she us back with more of the same. However, there is just something so consistent with this EP of tracks which appear to be ‘outtakes’, if the somewhat quizzical ‘Song dump from Garage Band February 2020 to February 2021’, one line Bandcamp release bio can be use to assume any explanation. It is a consistency born of  total beauty and emotionality, that invites repeated listens of all four tracks.
All the tracks have a whispered core, that evokes simultaneous inferences of Nico coolness and painful shyness, upon which various musical nuances are added. Opener, Spiral Notebook  and the superlative Scroll Away The Night are all fluttered Sarah Records jangly, with excrutiatingly hushed Aberdeen sweetness added.
In comparison Secretary (You Really Care) adds a more gregarious Cocteau Twins dream-pop aesthetic, as a The Luxembourg Signal jangle-gaze quality increasingly rises to the fore as the track develops.
Finally the full spectrum of beauty is accomplished with the simple, yet dominant guitar-pop and extra legibility of almost Mazzy Starr vocals, of Stay Inside, which hypnotizes with a slightly sumptious drone and meditative melodies that hint at psyche persuausions.
I am not sure Weldin intended this set of tracks to be so important to anyone. They feel like a gift of happenstance, almost as if she stumbled accross them on a harddrive somehow and thought why not? Somehow such beauty deserves such a nonchalant back story, as it is just that sort of natural beauty.








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