Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Ghost of 29 Megacycles - Love Via Paper Planes

This shimmering, ethereal debut album came out in 2009 on the now tragically defunct Sound&Fury imprint and quietly slipped under most people's radars. It's a shame, because it's a gorgeous album full of sprawling dronescapes lovingly crafted from haunted, whispering vocals, coldly thrumming and heavily reverberated guitars and gauzy, glowing organ. It's a chilly sounding album but enveloping nonetheless, rich in texture and carefully crafted washes of sound. At 15 minutes long, the opening track accounts for about a third of the total run time. It's decidedly minimal with constant waves of guitar and organ serving as the backdrop to a hushed, wordless chorus. The second track is far more guitar heavy, but droned out almost to the point of a pure wash of sound. Its slow burn progression, melancholy and meditative, is reminiscent of Stars of the Lid. The title track and the one following it, entitled "Dusted," could easily be one long piece. On the first, a languorous guitarscape drives the piece forward. The latter swells with vibrant, near-hypnotic organ tones, the guitar shimmering within it. On both, those same tender, wordless, washed out vocals sing almost mantra-like throughout. The album ends unexpectedly with a cover of Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End." For the first time, the vocals are clear, albeit distant and almost tremulous, as if coming from some room far, far away. It's a wonderfully melancholy piece and a fantastic way to close out this mysterious yet highly accomplished album. This is shoegaze for fans of pure ambience, or as if My Bloody Valentine decided to make a drone album. In any case, it's a gem and is not to be missed.

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