Soundtrack For An Empathetic Response
During the summer of 2014, Gaza was bombed. Meanwhile, 6706 miles away in Vancouver, BC, musician Little Melody sat, transfixed by a live stream of the atrocities. She grabbed her field recorder and decided to do something about it. Trepidation is her response to those events, building soundscapes, music and noise over the recordings of the bombings.
Trepidation veers from droning dark ambience ("Horizon") to dreamy chamberfolk ("Telephone" and "Obscenity") to light, piano-led neoclassical ("Birds"). There are a proliferation of exotic instruments - harmoniums, zithers, Fender Rhodes - that give this a right proper shambolic ritualistic psych-out freakout quality, on par with heavyweights like Vibracathedral Orchestra, Six Organs Of Admittance and Skygreen Leopards. The kind of thing you listen to with incense burning.
Little Melody will certainly appeal to anyone who's into Grouper at all, as well, as Little Melody's guitars that have a similar drifting, weightless, reverbed ambiance. I'm a total sucker for atmospheric psychedelic acoustic guitar and wish more people would explore its possibilities, so i applaud Little Melody for it! It's keeping me transfixed.
The final three tracks are like a coda or afterthought, moving away from the field recordings and focusing on more vocal, song-based material. They seem like the extra tracks that would come with an old CD-single, or dug out for some reissue. "No Lullabies For Angela" is a folksy Leonard Cohen number about loneliness and homelessness, while "Overdose" is some more tripped out psyched-out experimentation, with a high warbling synth that sounds like Close Encounters duetting with a slow-phasing Casio wailing mournfully.
Little Melody focuses a lot on texture in her music. She works digitally, but incorporates analog instruments and recording techniques - like recording a bowed guitar to a four-track. She then passed these recordings off to Neal Miskin at Red Light Studios in Vancouver, who optimized the recordings for any system.
These are the kinds of details that make a record stand out, that make a strong, cohesive statement that speaks without shouting. Little Melody is currently self-releasing her music, on her Poppy Music Vancouver imprint, but I have a sense that won't last.
Trepidation is a moving record that you can return to and get lost in, over and over, again and again.
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