Lemolo – White Flag (2013)

Have I got a surprise for you! Lemolo recorded a new song last year, as part of some demo sessions (obviously, toes is a new record’s waters). This duo* from Seattle was 2012’s musical revelation for ZaRecords, so I’ve been aching for some more of the ethereal snowfall they call music. If you missed their debut album, The Kaleidoscope, you must rectify this immediately. If not, they you will surely enjoy this little teaser. It’s little more than a teaser, truth be told – but what a wonderful thing to be teased by such perfect harmony and images!… Enjoy!

* By the way, I couldn’t simply gloss over this – Lemolo is no longer a duo, as Meagan and Kendra decided to split ways, as they announced on the 19th of August 2013. It was not a falling out, it was not a nascent war. They remain friends. However, Lemolo is now comprised of Meagan alone, and I really hope this won’t take away from the perfectly calibrated abrasive edge Kendra’s drumming brought to the outfit. White Flag is but one of seventeen songs recorded during those demo sessions, so there’s a lot to hope for. Hence, let us hope!

Fiordmoss – Siberia (2013)

I was a semi-prepared, freeze-dried fan in varied, limited edition packaging – just add Fiordmoss. Half-life unknown. So far, my love for this band is still highly radioactive. I think it’s some of the best music I’ve ever heard, and it just seems to keep getting better, with every little tidbit they release. Case in point – Siberia, a single released in August 2013, as a gentle nudge-nudge wink-wink towards the LP they’re (hopefully still) working on, as mentioned in the interview they were gracious enough to grant me. Two versions here – the studio version, for the great video, and the live version, for the breathtaking performance. Enjoy!

God Is An Astronaut – Origins (2013)

So it seems God drifts once more under the subtle seduction of gravity, each orbit a test, each parsec as infuriatingly philosophical as the last, carried by the mutterings of memory. Origins is an album weaved from translucent tendrils of thought, a narrow web of neural splendor, deliberate and spectral, music embracing great, chilling gaps of silence, vast distances of tranquility defined by scintillating swathes of ephemeral agitation.

God Is An Astronaut - OriginsSuppose the Laws were tweaked in such a way as to allow stars to revolve around the focused void, forming great, perfect spheres rather than discs. What if the irrationality of Pi took precedence over that of Phi? Equidistant, balanced, becoming artificial, they would create reverse Dyson spheres – the stars themselves as satellites feeding the endless hunger nestled at the core of such a structure. God Is An Astronaut make music to bounce between these satellites – cool detachment purified to incandescence, patience and equilibrium vibrated into being, time constrained into morsels of docile submission, always with an abrupt, unexpected termination, as if contact with such a world could only be maintained long enough for a mere glimpse, requiring the observer to suddenly surface for air. Each successive submersion brings new vistas, new colors to the spectrum, radically different, essentially unsustainable, super-heavy elements born of speed and collision and destined to glow in arcane light and blink out of existence.

Origins has a very patterned construction, remarkably stable and enticing in its placement of peaks of musical intensity and stretches of meditative exploration. The album as a whole is pulsing with delightful regularity, achieving that elusive musical goldilocks zone between projected familiarity and surprising freshness. It’s also quite modular, as each track can function on its own very well, while also falling perfectly into place in the larger ensemble. The overall impression created is that very little is arbitrary when this record is concerned. The edifice may be ethereal, but it is also impeccably disciplined, and not out of an arid conception, but because that is simply how it needed to be, naturally, effortlessly. And herein lies another aspect of its beauty – a musical journey into such remote, intricate, moebian spaces, made relateable, even allowing for toe-tapping and head-bobbing. It is amazing to me how unpretentious God Is An Astronaut are in their emanation of such expansive music.

Enjoy your trip, if you will, in this double-jointed musical universe, and tell me of your journey! I would be delighted to find out what you’ve seen, should you return.

More God Is An Astronaut.

Top 13 For 2013

From my point of view, the year 2013 was a strange one insofar as music is concerned. I had much trouble writing about albums I liked – so much trouble, in fact, that I didn’t write much of anything. I felt assaulted by a cold, artificial tide of sound and I could only dive in once I learned how to reconnect to my trance/electronic music years. To be perfectly honest, the year as a whole has been peppered with tracks I loved, grinning sheepishly on entire LPs I struggled with. It’s not that 2013 was a drought year in music, it’s that this blog’s formula was not designed to accommodate it entirely and I was too uninspired to change said formula. In any case, I couldn’t let the year fade into the past without compiling this top 13, just as I tried to do last year. So, without further ado, here’s my top 13 tracks of 2013, in no particular order. I hope you guys find it enjoyable!