Saturday, March 5, 2011

Whipped Cream Waterfalls (Don't go chasing them, you might get sticky)

I’ve spent the last few months in a cynical snit. Frankly nothing has really gotten through the armor of a decade of listening to new music. I have actually, physically, vomited on a few of the things I’ve listened to. I might be an asshole. I am glad to be wrong. The truth is that no matter how much you have heard, no matter how much you deride and sneer at the endless stream of music that comes sailing into your inbox you can still be shaken to the core by a seemingly simple sound.

That simplicity, that spareness is what drives Two Mountains into the front of my consciousness. This is a sonic nude, two words tattooed on a naked breast, a single bird flying over a telephone wire at sunset. This record is fucking magical. It has woven a tender web of sound around my head and ensnared the senses completely. It is everything I love in music; the delicate dance between the alienation of drone and the total sexual intimacy of a single voice.

The way of music is in the space in between. A half rest is the wordless song that continues the narrative after the club has emptied. There is a tendency in modern production to fill every silence with the ten thousand sounds and layers that perfect digital clarity can afford and I think this is a mistake; though I think the graver sin is when this sense of production in turn infects a musician, driving them to fill every moment of a composition with noise. I prefer those who paint everything but the picture. It is the more subtle art. In an era of vulgar over-production this is a crisp reflection of the sky.

Let the reader not assume that some form of smarmy retro-enthusiasm pervades the production of the record. It is fully modern in sound, there are layers and digital samples and eskimeaux does not feel the need to go backwards in time. Instead, it is the trick of it, the sleight of hand, the wizardry of restraint that drags this record out of the morass of indie music and directly to the top of my iPod playlist. There is a lonely mountain peak in between the ranges of lo-fi and hi-fi and it is incredibly difficult to balance there. I applaud that delicate posture, it is exceedingly rare.

This is a record of balances. The light and dark dance hand in hand throughout, the stillness is as pregnant with possibility as the motion is manifest and the spartan lyricism tells a story so compelling it becomes another instrument in the telling. This record was woven from delight and tragedy, it holds a cup of coffee in one hand and a bourbon in the other. It is a love affair, in all that can mean.

You are delightful eskimeaux. Come play Portland.

Everyone else, go download this right now.

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