Domingo, 29 de Dezembro de 2013

Ashley Paul - Line the Clouds (2013)

Ashley Paul - Line the Clouds

This album comes from a lonely place. Its deep blue mood recalls the slowcore of early Low, Red House Painters and Codeine, with a dogged improvisational streak in place of decelerated rock dynamics. "Black and Blue" serves as the album’s somewhat deflated fanfare, a troubled miasma of amp buzz, baleful horns and prepared strings too subdued to constitute a cacophony, while the sense of emptiness of "The Ocean" and "Falling" is underscored by a minimal backing of cyclical guitar and sparse woodwind, occasionally tangling into a knot around barely-there melodies. "Take" introduces piano figures which break up and reform as if the instrument were perpetually revising its own role. Paul’s use of vocal multitracking doesn’t galvanise her songs – instead it makes her high, tremulous voice seem even more isolated, as though the Brooklyn based artist were conjuring near identical phantoms to keep herself company.
The sense of introversion is strong, and the music is as discomfiting as it is compelling. These pieces initially seem reluctant to be exposed to the harsh light of scrutiny. Yet Paul’s decisions are bold enough to subvert any impressions of naiveté: "The Ocean" is continually ruptured from within by loud scrapes and jarring thwacks, for instance, while "Wrap Me Up" is infested with percussion that scuttles along the floor of the song like so many cockroach feet.
In spite of her hushed, fractured vocal demeanour, Paul stages a fairly comprehensive assault on singersongwriter conventions (confessionalism, the primacy of the voice, traditional song structures) using weapons forged in the fires of improvisation and modern composition. It’s also gratifying to hear such an attempt that doesn’t equate the advancement of songcraft with the conspicuous incorporation of electronics – there’s not a soft-synth, sequencer or sample to be heard on Line The Clouds, and it’s all the better for that.

FLAC

??? às 20:30

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