News from “the Unknown”, Anacortes

Good winter news from “The Unknown”, Anacortes, Washington. Both, Ô Paon and Mount Eerie have new releases. Geneviéve Castrée´s new full lenght LP  “Fleuve” is digitally out 27th. January 2015 as Tau 005, while Mt Eerie´s new LP “Sauna”was released yesterday via P.W. Elverum & sun.  At first listen, especially the two tracks “Fille Tannée” and “Grand Sec/Alusinnage” of Fleuve are amazing, while I´d like to listen to the full physical LP and to all of the tracks by Mount Eerie before writing more about it. 

p.w.elverum: (on Fleuve)

“There is a type of nostalgia where the yearning is for a certain place at a certain time, something which no longer exists, something you’ll never be able to re-live. “Fleuve”, the new record by Ô PAON, is partially inspired by this very nostalgia: the cold winters when there would be a lot of snow, the times spent alone at home pondering while lying on your bed, or the long walks in the suburbs of Montréal in a time when you had to use a payphone to contact your people.

The “fleuve” (river) we are talking about here is obviously the Saint-Lawrence River.

This sort of concept album starts off in adolescence, along the way we encounter young runaways, the story ends with the Québec homecoming of a narrator who is nervous about feeling so different that she is completely alienated by it, she doesn’t know what role to play in the society which raised her.

On this record, Ô PAON (Geneviève), shows her influences more intentionally than ever. The guitars are electrified and distorted, we recognize the textures of the pre-internet era mentioned above. Just like on previous Ô PAON records, the lyrics are the result of a mix of anger and frustration. Geneviève addresses directly her feelings of powerlessness when faced with the politics of Canada’s and Québec’s respective governments. She is now living in the United-States, she has lost her right to vote and doesn’t know when she’ll come back to live in her home country.

“Fleuve” is a love letter written to someone who annoys you.”

*

p.w.elverum: (on Sauna)

“The sauna that this album was inspired by is not a sauna that actually exists anywhere. It is about the idea of a small man-made wooden room crushed beneath a universe’s worth of bad weather; a concentration of extreme heat within a vast tough world. Inside this deliberate space a transformation occurs. The exaggerated atmosphere of flames, steam, smoke and dim light obliterate the usual sensations and new kinds of perception are exposed. Then the shocking plunge under cold water and the razor sword through sky.

This is the same transformative potential of music, at least the kind of music that Mount Eerie has been attempting for the past few years. Carefully built worlds of sound and sensation, large weights and clear ideas, depth shown through simple moments. The singer is standing on the street in the rain, considering whether she hears a tractor idling or maybe an ancient memory of a mammoth tearing through brush. The view through the big windows at the airport in 2014.

Sauna is described as an “ultimate” Mount Eerie album, and something about it does feel final, or perhaps the beginning of something new and big. The songs narrow these ideas to tight moments, a honed thesis.

The compositions are complicated and grown-up, the instrumentation is gnarly and big, the pictures are painted bright. Recorded fully analog on 24 tracks at the Unknown (the reclaimed old wood church in Anacortes, Washington), this is certainly the most “hi-fi” Mount Eerie album ever made, while still sounding as raw as low tide in November. Phil Elverum is joined by singers Allyson Foster and Ashley Eriksson, cutting through the jet noise roar of the music with clear harmonic counterpoints.

Gongs flange, distorted bass arches its back, organs blanket the room, the piano is half-swallowed. Are those drums or lumber? Flutes or laughter? Actual audible steam hangs in the branches.”

Listen two 2 tracks of Sauna:

& to the ambient titletrack “sauna” via the bandcamp site:

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