Bay area textural pop group Torrey delve deep into a translucent dreamworld on their self-titled sophomore album. These twelve guitar-forward songs drift through classic shoegaze and rainy day indie rock sounds, the entire album blurring into a stream of fragmented bliss.
Siblings Ryann and Kelly Gonsalves found a new freedom while creating this album, setting up a controlled recording environment that allowed them to follow every impulse and make their most fully considered work to date. It’s a prism of different shades of soft-focused brilliance, bleary enough to purposefully obscure its deft construction without ever dulling its impact.
Ryann and Kelly formed Torrey in 2018 while living in San Francisco. 2019 EP Sister and 2021 debut LP Something Happy were both recorded at the legendary Tiny Telephone studios and self-released by the band, documenting an early phase of clean, shimmery jangle pop.
When it was time to begin work on the next album, every step of the process was slowed down and expanded. Kelly and Ryann spent a while trading voice memos, exploring melodic ideas, alternate guitar tunings, and guitar treatments that were new to the band. Song skeletons got fleshed out with weeks of fine-tuning the live drums, and then ultimately a home studio was put together in Ryann’s house and Matthew Ferrara of the Umbrellas came in to help capture the sounds.
Throughout the entire process, the working chemistry between the friends felt organic and effortless, and the low-pressure environment not only encouraged experimentation, but created a space where Torrey could connect with themselves and their music authentically. They tracked in a matter of days in a conscious attempt to avoid losing the joy of the album by belaboring things, putting intention and care into every step of the process.
Torrey’s pre-existing foundation of catchy songwriting is emboldened by the limitless approach of the recording sessions. Each song has its own personality, but feels connected to the rest; like a carefully curated playlist. This means the layered guitar tones and smeared vocal harmonies of “No Matter How,” pivot seamlessly into Deal sister-informed tunefulness on the buzzing and clattering “Hawaii” before moving into warped tropical ambience, glacial shoegaze atmospheres, and fuzzy guitar shredding.
Moments of reverb-heavy lo-fi ambling blunt the sharper edges of higher energy tracks like the euphorically poppy “Really AM.” There’s a different kind of tension on almost every track, but all the energies converge into the same flow. It’s fitting that Torrey’s most masterfully crafted album is also their first for Slumberland. As the album plays out, it perfectly arranges contradictory expressions of angst and tenderness, exaltation and melancholy, restlessness and acceptance. These songs are obsession-worthy for any dream pop enthusiast, with Torrey managing to call on some familiar spirits for guidance while sounding more like themselves than ever before.
Press photo by Katie Lovecraft
Music Video directed by Rick Altieri
Street Date: March 8, 2024
[click here to pre-order]
No Matter How
July (And I’m)
Happy You Exist
We’re Dancing (End)
Really AM (Single)