Clouds, Thunder, and the Narrative of Structure: An Interview With Pinkshinyultrablast

Though thematic clashes of good and evil are entertaining, Pinkshinyultrablast acknowledge that structure has its importance when carving their dreamy tracks.
Club AC30

The name Pinkshinyultrablast can immediately bring several ideas to mind. The first of these would be the “thunder pop” group, and the second would be the Astrobrite record from which the band have taken their name from. Of course, another image can pop into the head of those that hear that name, usually after having heard it repeated several times to make sure it’s not part of a fever dream. It sounds like a move straight from a Japanese manga, one following the inspiration of Dragonball‘s kamehameha.

Lyubov Soloveva, vocalist of Pinkshinyultrablast, claims that the inspiration to take that name didn’t lie in the band’s love for pop culture. Speaking with PopMatters, she says that the name has a “nonsensical” quality to it, one that stuck even with its unsure nature being tagged onto the band’s EP Happy Songs for Happy Zombies. It’s a word that stuck in its own “cloud of interpretations”.

Appropriately enough, “cloudy” is a word that fits the poppy sound of this Russian band. Still off the heels of their first LP Everything Else Matters, which feels like a hopeful reply to Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”, Pinkshinyultrablast have released their sophomore record Grandfeathered this year, an album that has a complexity to its brightness. From the rock guitars that herald celebration and cherry blossoms in “Glow Vastly” to the blissful unreality that is “The Cherry Pit”, their sophomore release wades the same waves Cocteau Twins swam. To Soloveva, they were also thunder pop — they were also the immense wall off the fringes of dream pop and shoegaze.

Pinkshinyultrablast’s relationship with art is part of what defines their colorful image in the spectrum of sound. The artwork that graces the covers of their two albums were interpretations done by Facultative.Works, friends of the band. Colors and geometry become talking points along the context of interpretation; an effervescent, unified flow would be the inspiration. “[Geometry is] like the juxtaposition of our sensibility and music and luscious sensibilities of design.” From the cover of their latest release, Pinkshinyultrablast’s interpreted sensibilities are in a spectrum of colors — from the obtuse black block to the freakishly technicolored soap, sound becomes represented as solid, dense, and bright.

Nathan Fake’s track “Grandfathered” lends its inspiration to the band, much like Astrobrite’s album. Pinkshinyultrablast says that their album and Fake’s track have a quality to it that’s “grand and operatic.” Positioning -fathered into -feathered says a lot about the lightness of some sections, while also weighing in on the heavy. In such a way, the feathers that could represent such a sound are the ones found in the trick question about whether one would carry twenty pounds of bricks or the same weight of feathers. Yet one of those choices seems like a much pleasant way of being smothered. This pleasure is heightened with the Japanese culture that permeates through the band’s catalogue.

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