Ten years after they met in high school in the suburbs of San Jose, California, Jared, Michael, and John formed Balms in San Francisco in 2013. This is a great shoegaze band that has darkened the sound by providing layers and layers of reverb over which the vocals still fly out. The guitar soars in spots like the flame of a candle, whispily yet with strength while the bass and drums propel the song along so there is no drag. This is great music, using the very best production techniques and the use of pedals is truly inspired. This is not your typical shoegaze band; instead, Balms is deeper and much darker and miles ahead of where most music, even shoegaze and math rock, is stuck right now. Thank you, Balms. You soothe the soul with your darkness.