TRACK | Sterile Cuckoo – The Ghost of Saint Claire

5/5 golden merles

“The Ghost of Saint Claire” has a composition that incorporates more creative tools than most songwriters employ and with more conviction. I’m very fond of these configurations, their sequencing — from field, to shoegaze, to ambient drone — is always dreamy, always threatening to break into bloom. It is mesmeric, captivating material.

Three things primarily pique my interest among its graces: First, the cohesion of its assembled genre influences. Second is the structural invention and pacing. And third is the collaborative element. Each of these involve their own degree of risk and reward.

There is some risk in breaking free from the yoke of strictly enforced genre limitations, attempting to create the more refined/unique niche, and the prospective audience readily available to receive it. Another risk is in leaning into the expanse, allowing the void to patiently fill itself with subtle field and noise cues, breaking the form but maintaining a series of footholds. Yet another risk is in collaboration with others to contribute toward the fundamental ideas and ambiance (orion lake & Antonio Svisa).

But, truly, they’ve all paid off tremendously well here. And, from the outside, that act of crafting feels honest and refreshing, to have honed the influences or held a vision intact throughout. It’s realized to a point that probably none of it seems like risk at all to its progenitor, but rather the only way to properly render the material and synthesize the influences. Listening to it feels a little bit like taking part in that conviction and it is a joyful event. There is much to admire in its grandiose and ephemeral lo-fi textures, and the deteriorating and rising of its well designed phases and fractals.

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