The Space Between the Seasons.

Carissa’s Wierd | Songs About Leaving
If you’re going to mourn the death of a band, this one seems to have ironically made the perfect music for grieving their own demise. Imagine a room with Will Oldham, Bright Eyes, and The Cure playing the most plodding, brooding numbers in their collective songbooks, each one about some kind of separation, death, or other iteration of Going Away. Add strings, piano, ghostly female vocals, and stream-of-consciousness titles – and you have Carrissa’s Wierd (yes, spelled that way). The posthumous Seattle five-piece are adored and missed, not only because they spread equal amounts of devastating depression and tender beauty. On their second-to-last album, ‘Songs About Leaving’, they forecast their own separation, and make you fall in love with them in spite of it.

Colleen | Everyone Alive Wants Answers
The first full-length from Paris electronic dreamer Cécile Schott, ‘Everyone Alive Wants Answers’ is a hypnotic stare through the looking glass, replete with aural fantasy and soundtracky aromas. Colleen takes a host of stringed and keyed instruments and puts them through textured electronic effects, sometimes with crackles and hisses, sometimes with glockenspiels, xylophones, and music boxes. The album is ambient but much warmer than ambient; orchestral without the clinical quality of an orchestra. Essentially, it’s like Amélie on acid. How marvelous!

Curium | Nowever
As creative as you can imagine, Evan Sornstein takes his love for the accessible humanity of E.E. Cummings’ poems and sets them to evocative, transportive electronic soundscapes. The farthest thing from spoken word, he enlists the help of twenty-two people from all around the world to interpret each piece into a truly original suite of visionary musings on life and the meaning of it, and every one fits perfectly, surely as Cummings would have imagined. It’s not existential – it’s experimental…and experiential.

Ensemble | Ensemble
Björk-associate Olivier Alary failed to choose an original band name and album title, but he succeeded in getting an all-star cast of wonderful musicians together to put out a very enjoyable, frosty, delightful album. Joined by Cat Power’s Chan Marshall, Lou Barlow, and London programmer-tripper Mileece, ‘Ensemble’ is a world tour of sights and sounds, with enough pop to keep you interested and enough glitch to shake it up a bit. Interspersed with white noise consisting of long howls of wind and closing with six minutes of driving rain, this strange brew is a cozy keeper, a creature comfort to let spring pass into sun.

Dustin O’Halloran | Piano Solos 1 & 2
Devics songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dustin O’Halloran has more talent in his E-string than…well, you get the drift. In addition to his wonderful work with Sara Lov, Dustin recorded two albums of solo piano pieces in Italy over the past few years, and both deserve mention here for their haunting beauty, expressive honesty, and delicate vulnerability – all of which are clearly the artist’s. While simple and unaffected piano work, there’s nothing about it that allows the songs to be background music. Each opus pries you open, demands your attention, and cuts right to your core. If there’s such a thing as ‘creative reflecting music’, this is surely it.

Cross-posted, as always, to ixmae and Ixmae.

4 Responses to “The Space Between the Seasons.”

  1. tkil Says:
    February 8th, 2007 at 8:45 am

    cw
    I'm pleasantly surprised to see you mention bands I've actually heard of (and, in this case, I already have all three CW releases, along with the S low-fi side project). Useful to calibrate tastes…

  2. FunkyPlaid Says:
    February 11th, 2007 at 6:44 pm

    Re: cw
    Useful to calibrate tastes…
    Oh, totally. Glad you love Carissa's Wierd. You enjoying the S project?

  3. Anonymous Says:
    February 6th, 2008 at 2:28 am

    You really ought to post more, even if your girlfriend is excessively cute and no doubt a fantastic substitution for entertaining us here rabble.
    Surely there must a way to get the girl and keep us riveted to our f-list once more, instead of the silence and the binary dust gathering in such a smug manner to produce an ascii tongue blowing the Reality raspberry at us from afar? Not that I blame you, and from the photographic evidence, you'd a fool if you weren't doing something better, but you are missed, even if i'm rivalling you in the slack ljers-r-us department.
    And what is that Pinot, exactly? I can only read half the label.

  4. Anonymous Says:
    April 8th, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Magnificent.

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