The lucid dream-pop of You’ll Never Get to Heaven rarely blends into recognizable shapes. “We are intuitively drawn to music which occupies a space between intimacy and distance” said Chuck Blazevic, who shares the duo with his partner, classically trained pianist, violinist and singer Alice Hansen. Through four releases in just under a decade, the London, Ont.-Based couple have developed a variety of mood songs that are as instrumentally sophisticated as they are vaguely mysterious. At Wave your hat in the moonlight for the snowfall train, they replace the 2017 rhythm machine pulse Pictures with a shimmering and wispy sound. Inspired by the rhythmless, delay-saturated free jazz arrangements of Phil Yost’s 1967 LP Curved city (whose closing song provides the title of the new album), this gently atmospheric cycle is both tenderly tactile and forever out of reach.
From the start, YNGTH’s music has been intentionally incomplete. In one interview 2014, Nova Scotia experimental musician and Divorced label founder Darcy Brooch remembers having received the duo 2012 debut as a demo. When Spidle heard the unfinished and unfinished bedroom recordings of glassblown pop, he offered to release the record as is. Hansen compared YNGTH’s origins to Leyland Kirby’s haunted project The Caretaker: building songs with samples of symphonic jazz from a bygone era to linger forever in a ghost-filled ballroom.
With a patient process that requires three or four years between releases, YNGTH has continuously refined its time suspension formula. EP 2014 Adorn paid a direct tribute to the influences of the duo with a cover of âBy This Riverâ by Cluster and Eno, followed by a solo piano interpretation of âEnfantillages Pittoresques: Berceuseâ by Erik Satie. At PicturesâPublished by the Maryland label Yellow K the year since Japanese Breakfast debuted, YNGTH found a meteoric propulsion that resembled synth-pop, allowing Hansen’s sweet and melancholy vocal melodies to be pulled forward by analog and electronic beats. . Wave your hat in the moonlight continues to use chime metallophone percussion (also a feature of Blazevic’s solo project Slow Attack Set), but compared to the duo’s previous release, it seems weightless.
The eight songs of Wave your hat in the moonlight are divided between fragile vocal meditations and instrumentals as delicate as origami cranes. With a poetic economy of words, Hansen uses natural imagery (a setting sun, a creeping dawn) and sound elements (an endless echo dancing in and out of phase) to evoke spiraling emotions that never get quite sharp. . On “Eye, Soul and Hand,” she lowers her voice to a muffled ASMR whisper, making it nearly impossible to discern some of the album‘s most touching lyrics: “Fear is a pale gray shadow, and now you are gone, it takes its form. Even though she doesn’t reveal any details, the world weighs heavy as it crumbles around her.
On previous versions, Blazevic drew attention for his use of the Monome, a control panel based on a grid of flashing squares that asks the user to define their function. For these songs, his primary tool is the fretless bass, which slides between grooves and punctuates Hansen’s vocal hooks with scintillating overtones like Jaco Pastorius. Wave your hat in the moonlightOther basic instruments include the marimba and watery grouper-like pianos that rise to the surface on closer “dawn visions”. The end effect is like Julee Cruise produced by Ivo Watts-Russell, or Elizabeth Fraser produced by Angelo Badalamenti. Four outings, You’ll Never Get to Heaven created a heartwarming and familiar yet never predictable sound.
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