by Summon the Birds
prologue: The Magic Lantern
by Slow Dancing Society
by Chloe March
Clock of the Long Now
by Target Archery
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Chloë March’s many strengths are on full display throughout her fourth full-length Blood-Red Spark. On the album’s twelve tracks, her first-rate songwriting skills are well-accounted for, as is the English artist’s talent for crafting compelling instrumental backdrops. But as we’ve noted in the past, it’s March’s singing that is her music’s strongest selling-point: she’s got one of those one-in-a-million voices that could make even the most pedestrian lyric feel like cause for rapture. That being said, as integral as her vocalizing is to the album’s impact, Blood-Red Spark would hardly merit a recommendation if the songs and arrangements weren’t compelling, too.
The latest album by Chloe March is another heady trip through electro pop but really that tag doesn’t do justice to the range of expression. The air is thick with atmosphere throughout and March is a masterful creator of mood. This is just one of the stunning rarefied synth compositions topped with layers of her remarkable voice. I particularly love the dappled pulse of electric piano when the pace picks up for the chorus. It is also a beautiful sound somewhere between The Blue Nile and David Sylvian and as that would suggest very soulful. Wonderbar.
On the fourth album, Chloë March does not stop dispensing the charm of her soothing vocal harmonies, which in the twelve tracks of “Blood-Red Spark” become even more ethereal and evanescent than ever.
Set aside the velvety jazzy settings of ” Nights Bright Days ” (2014), the sound flow that supports the interpretations of the English artist is no longer made up of real arrangements, but rather of constant layers of synth whose lightness recalls the magic of Cocteau More delicate twins.
Simplicity and intimacy seem to be the key words of the work, which however do not contradict the refined refinement of the current expressive dimension of Chloë March, a well-established muse of dilated dream-pop spells.
“Lilacs” must have been locked in a time capsule for a while, because it’s straight out of a 90’s high school prom – in the best possible way. We suggest pulling someone special close to you and reminiscing on your favorite Buffy The Vampire Slayer episodes. Or which Soundgarden album is the most underrated. Or pro tips on keeping your Tamagotchi alive. Just try not to step on each other’s Doc Martens.
Sterling Hayden was an American actor who starred in such classics as Dr. Strangelove and The Long Goodbye. No idea what that has to do with this experimental rock/post-rock jam from trio AWMA. Regardless, the song is a trippy and hypnotic adventure that eschews convention to craft a sound that sits somewhere between the unpredictability of a jam band and the careful consideration of the best post-rock groups. This one has a mantra like quality that imbues the track with a religious vibe that is equally endearing and unnerving. The outfit features ex-members of the San Francisco-based slow-core outfit Half Film. Which is nice.
From the Italian producer Willem Gator comes an eclectic album of epic melancholic electronica, poised between post rock and clubbing sonority, full of dreamy musical constructions, along six different tracks, for a total of 40 minutes, modulating softly and with cinematic digressions , in now more eclectic passages, at other times more tense and eccentric, always with a strong emotional impact. Giuseppe Musmeci, this is the name of the musician’s registry, he chose for the Locked-In Syndrome project the Hidden Shoal, an independent Australian label that has focused its work on experimenters and bands not related to a specific genre. The result is interesting and worthy of careful listening.