Saturday, April 10, 2004

Tinsel's first album, The Lead Shoes, was co-released by The Broken Face, a fine underground noise and pop zine out of Sweden. Stitches of Light (Keyhole), the followup to that ghostly collision of fractured folk scapes and subtle industrial harmonics, comes as a CD-R package limited to 125 copies, which begs the question, can we expect a reissue? More people probably need to hear it. Seven tracks of dusty bedroom psych that has an instantly familiar but distant allure get evenly distributed over 30 minutes of dark harmonic swirls. May be an even more enticing affair than The Lead Shoes--streamlined, a bit less fractured and alienating, memorable melodies, but still a dense, expressionist canvass gets explored with layers of cavernous noise loops and drone a constant presence.

Opener "When It Is Time" sounds like a lost lullaby overheard via an old factory drain pipe, gently wafting through the dense, rusty air. Electric piano, vibes, sweet harmonies and subtle samples and loops back a rumination about coming in from the dark with a lovely melody that softens the melanchony subject matter. It merely commences one of the more disturbingly surreal electronica/folk dream cycles I've come across in quite some time. Masterful tracks like "The Choirgirl," "Somnam (Sweet Light in a Dark Room)" and the aptly titled "Elegant Decay"--an extended trip through industrial creeps and crawls--should be heard if you've ever dreamt of a union between folkier Current 93 and later Third Eye Foundation, but that only really hints at the complexity of this tense journey. For music that's largely sample-driven, it's warm, approachable folk pop that's melodic enough to appeal to dream-pop types, but darker and scarier in an Eraserhead sort of way. Be prepared for narcoleptic lapses and spontaneous hallucinations when exploring such vivid dream portals.

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