I DREAMED I WAS A FOOTSTEP IN THE TRAIL OF A MURDERER
At various times, Hunter Gatherer’s latest manages to sound like air escaping from a tire, the backing track to ET and a Hoover trying to remove a particularly uncooperative piece of gum from a classroom carpet. In electro circles, though, there’s no doubt that it’s the overall effect that counts, and once all the beeps and tings are molded together, the Dublin native takes you on a near-spiritual journey. It’s a head-spinning whirl of vibes that in tracks like the haunting ‘Cloud’ and melancholy ‘Snow Globe’ feel like the world’s a kaleidoscope, and Hunter-Gatherer’s slowly churning the colors. Largely pedestrian but exceedingly heartfelt, this is the kind of album that’s whole is significantly more than its constituent parts, and while you might not want to listen to it every day, it’s a textbook soundtrack to all things wistful and scenic. James Hendicott
DOWNLOAD: SNOW-GLOBE, LEFT FOR DEAD, ATTICS.
FOR FANS OF: TANGERINE DREAM, THE KNIFE, (KID A ERA) RADIOHEAD.
CHRISTY AND EMILY
Sitting staunchly on the fence between conventional classical piano and slowed-down psychedelic nu-folk, Brooklyn-based Christy & Emily’s second LP flits sporadically through the off-the-wall and the jarringly emotional. At times the pair wonders into Aqualung and Sigur Ros territory, an organic effect that’s spoilt somewhat by the 19th century nursery rhyme vibe of tracks like ‘Nightingale’. ‘Golden Rings’ on the other hand is a swirly, lo-fi pop track, while delicate title track ‘Superstition’ tugs at the heartstrings and ‘Tidal Wave’ shows a more experimental side with pulsing drums and deeply layered Spanish vocals. Occasional oblique moments of genius and cleverly harmonized melodies, though, aren’t quite far enough from coffee table to pull this album through. James Hendicott
DOWNLOAD: GOLDEN RINGS
FOR FANS OF: AQUALUNG, WHITE MAGIC
THE RUBY SUNS
Fronted by Californian in exile Ryan McPhun (amazingly, that isn’t a stage name), Kiwi indie stars The Ruby Suns blend haunting, faded vocals with a spacey aural barrage of eclectic rhythms. The three-piece have a penchant for pace change, fluctuating between vaguely danceable beats in tracks like Two Humans and moments of profound, shoe-gazing near-silence in efforts like slow-builder Olympics On Pot. It’s a disparity that throws added weight behind the contrasting electronic melodrama; listening to the album in full makes potential singles such as Cranberry seem powerful and overstated by the chorus. Hints of eclectic trip-hop kings Massive Attack blend throughout with an intensely mellow indie edge, the result is a strange and intriguing cross between elevator music and trance-tinged indie. What have they been listening to? James Hendicott
DOWNLOAD: MINGUS AND PIKE, TWO HUMANS.
FOR FANS OF: PANDA BEAR, THE CHILLED OUT CORNERS OF MOBY’S ‘PLAY’.
As published in AU Magazine, December 2009/ January 2010