Queen City Sounds Podcast S2E4: A Shoreline Dream

Ryan Policky of A Shoreline Dream, photo by Tom Murphy

A Shoreline Dream is a band from Denver that has often been lumped in with merely shoegaze but in this case that includes the electronic soundscaping element in its aesthetic in a way one might associate with Slowdive, Chapterhouse and Seefeel. Founded in 2005 ASD has gone through a variety of lineup and stylistic changes as its membership absorbed ideas and influences but all through its existence the project has been helmed by vocalist and guitarist Ryan Policky whose background in visual art and graphic design has graced the music’s presentation beyond the captivating and enveloping music. Policky got into the local music scene initially through death metal but by the early-to-mid-90s Policky had developed a taste for dark atmospheric music and underground electronic dance music. For the rest of the decade he got involved in both the Denver Goth and rave scenes and as a member of Pure Drama started down a path toward more experimental guitar rock and shoegaze. After the latter split Policky spent a few years in the relatively short lived trip-hop style group Drop the Fear before reuniting with former Pure Drama guitarist Erik Jeffries to write music that brought together ethereal, tonally rich guitar melodies with IDM-esque electronic sequences with live drums that can be heard on A Shoreline Dream’s 2006 debut album Avoiding the Consequences. The music didn’t sound much like other Denver practitioners of the shoegaze arts but none of them sounded like each other either. Since then Policky has followed whatever muse seemed to give form to the next chapter of songwriting across four more albums and now with a sixth, Loveblind due out September 23, 2022 via Latenight Weeknight Records. The new record is largely a solo endeavor for Policky with contributions from Jeffries and others, a product of the pandemic era and the changing nature of the music industry that had already been transformed before any lockdowns. The resultant songs are reflective and leaning toward hopeful even as the subject matter is a direct discussion of the forces that make the world we live in more challenging. But the exquisite and transporting melodies and inspired dynamic drift make it yet another ASD album to dive into places of cathartic tranquility.

We had a chance to interview Policky and discuss his past in music, his working with pinball machines, other projects like Genessier and Brim Liski as well as his struggles with the ups and downs of industry and being a maker of music in the wake of all the challenges facing anyone putting out music today. Listen to the interview on Bandcamp, give a view to the music videos for “loveblind” and “alarms stop ringing” and to check out the full album and follow what Policky is doing with A Shoreline Dream and his other endeavors visit the Latenight Weeknight website.