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- ELV026 / LP on P.W. Elverum & Sun, Ltd. w/ foil-stamped sleeve & download
- Includes download code
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9/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 15 November 2012
Phil Elverum has been a busy lad lately. His most recent album ‘Clear Moon’ was a critical triumph and as far as I’m aware it sold pretty well too, and this week he has not one but FOUR new records landing in our office! You’d think he’d stagger them or something wouldn’t you, but no...there’s this one, which I believe is a companion LP to the ‘Clear Moon’ opus, there’s the ‘Lost Wisdom’ LP he made with Julie Doiron and Fred Squire, there’s a 2LP of singles and rarities, and finally there’s a (somewhat pointless) 7” which sees every track from each of his last two albums played on top of each other simultaneously. Hmm.
Anyway, this one comes in a beautiful foil-stamped thick card sleeve with a cute little book of lyrics and photos and a download code and opens with some shimmering shoegazey business which quietens down for Phil to do some mournful singing and then thickens back up again to a wall of dense fuzz which swells and wanes under some crisp, disorienting stop-start organ chords for an extended psych-gaze passage which takes up half the first side and is really quite hypnotic and involving.
Elsewhere there’s a variety of songs shrouded in Elverum’s trademark neofolk/lo-fi arrangements, from ‘Ancient Times’’s bare-bones piano-and-vocal lament with spooky field recorded textures fluttering away over the top, to the doomy new age organ drones and flute flutters of the instrumental which closes the first side, to the heavy post-rockiness of ‘Waves’...as I continue through the record there seems to be more of a focus on dense, heavy, layered sounds than on his previous offerings, to very good effect, and when he does go quiet it seems to be to act as a contrast to his sometimes relentless squalls of distorted noise, particularly his rousing almost death metal style romp through Popol Vuh’s ‘Engel Der Luft’.
When he reaches the one particularly serene moment ‘I Walked Home Beholding’, it takes on an almost religious quietude with its droning organ, defeated voices and delicate percussive touches. It’s really moving stuff. Yet another marvellous offering from the talented Mr Elverum.
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