TRACK | Violent Change – Unit A

5/5 golden merles

“Unit A” is the easiest point of entry to a great experimental lo-fi rock set, VC3. Awash in fuzz and form, the rampant melody augments and deviates in plenty of soaring and delicate ways. There’s enough feinting at traditional form coinciding with the stylistic subversion to keep it fresh and engaging.

There’s a lot in the way of texture and the weighting thereof: the processing all around, the vocal layers elevating at the chorus and a sparingly employed harmonica stretching the tactile wave. All of this is solidly plating the hooks, enshrining and embracing the more established elements.

Within the genre and particularly to those acclimated, there’s a lot of admirable gradation and nuance to the discernible creative problem solving. This refinement pulls some aspects of the abstraction away from suspicion, provides a benefit of the doubt in areas that lack explicit mechanisms of conveying meaning.

See also the Chunklet Industries Honey Radar/VC split from 2021 for some complimentary schemes.

TRACK | April Magazine – AM

5/5 golden merles

The instrumental opener to What If The Ceiling Were A Kite: Vol. 1, “AM” is composed of syrup and the earthy, burnt scent of summer. It is lo-fi bedroom rock that lumbers and pivots, encompassing, warm upon the field recorded road.

The tempo, texture, and braided melody capture a piece of nostalgia in a bottle. The blurry bloom of its treading lowers your blood pressure several points, induces a not uncomfortable numbness. A bit dangerous, it’s not to be dwelt in forever. At two minutes in length it remains a nice reprieve from the earth so fallen and fraught with sadness.

There’s lots of solid twee/indie pop and instrumental/ambient gales populating the disc. A handful of the second pressing vinyl remain unclaimed.


5/5 golden merles

After hearing some of my own particularly subdued songs a friend of mine once told me that music “was allowed” to have melodrama.

And while that is true and a good, generally speaking I still feel that subtlety is underrated. Or that its intentional utilization opens up avenues for other elements to be exposed or focused upon.

The understated can enhance the periphery, operating as its own aesthetic that presents but does not undercut or distract from a greater text or subtext. In this way the work is allowed to fold back on itself, and, in that muted intentional consistency, acts in elevating the emotional impact further.

The works of Yorgos Lanthimos in film work in this way. All characters assume a subdued, detached delivery and the resonance elaborates from small fluctuations within this new scale of framing. Small vibrations in feeling and action take on monumental significance. The contrast unveils and heightens that which would otherwise be at least partially obscured or overshadowed.

Subtraction is sometimes addition where perception is concerned. FLOWERTOWN’s “RCP” is working in a similar way. The idiosyncratic phrasing, creeping and cooing, in either variant of the spectral dual vocals, favors the subterranean, glacial structure of the track. The focus is shifted in an illuminating manner. It’s done with great craft all throughout the Theresa Street EP.

TRACK | Cool Ghouls – Gord’s Horse

5/5 golden merles

I am overcommitted to tasks and have not yet listened to 2021’s At George’s Zoo. But one thing I do know is that 2017’s tour tape from Cool Ghouls, Gord’s Horse, is strong stuff, wistful and warped.

Pleasing and affably askance, the title track ambles forward in a timeless sort of tread. There is a parity and tension present in the unfolding, part Americana in its pacing and instrumentation and part freak-folk in its poetic insinuations.

There is created here a well-worn path that somehow remains renewably enthralling due to the gently obscurantist phrasing and the overall loveliness of the wave-like, enveloping backing vocals. It’s an enduring and dreamy track.