avant . leftfield . post-rock . drone . experimental

WEEK STARTING 15 Jan

Genre pick of the week Cover of The Helm Of Sorrow by Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou.

Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou

The Helm Of Sorrow

    The Helm of Sorrow is the limited edition companion EP to Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou’s collaborative album, May Our Chambers Be Full. Stemming out of an offer from Roadburn Festival organizer Walter Hoeijmakers, mutual acquaintances, and a shared love of each other’s output, May Our Chambers Be Full is the first recorded document of collaboration between Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou. While their solo material seems on its face to be quite disparate, both groups have spent their respective careers lurking at the outer boundaries of the heavy metal scene, the artists having more in common with DIY punk and its spiritual successor, grunge.

    May Our Chambers Be Full straddles a similar, very fine line both musically and thematically. While Emma Ruth Rundle’s standard fare is a blend of post-rockinfused folk music, and Thou is typically known for its downtuned, doomy sludge, the conjoining of the two artists has created a record more in the vein of the early ’90s Seattle sound and later ’90s episodes of Alternative Nation, while still retaining much of the artists’ core identities. Likewise, the lyrical content of the album is a marriage of mental trauma, existential crises, and the ecstatic tradition of the expressionist dance movement. “Excessive sorrow laughs. Excessive joy weeps.” Melodic, melancholic, heavy, visceral. The visual art accompanying this work was created in collaboration with preeminent New Orleans photographer Craig Mulcahy. The faceless, genderless models are meant to emphasize this pervasive state of ambiguity and emotional vacillation, the images falling somewhere between modern high fashion and classical Renaissance.

    The fourth album for the Lisbon based band and their second on Ghost Box following on from The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards in 2018. Cosmorama is a beautifully crafted and lavishly produced adventure into tropicalia tinged psychedelic dream pop. A hallucinogenic fusion of Os Mutantes and Broadcast. The eleven songs here are instantly rewarding and transportive, but the rich production rewards the listener with new detail on every repeated play. Its music that’s knowingly informed by Portuguese and Brazilian vocal traditions, with gauzy layers of male and female voices moving beguilingly amongst each other, shifting, dreamlike, between languages. This is set against an electroacoustic backdrop of complex percussion, masterly acoustic musicianship and a matrix of haunted electronics that makes this album perfectly at home in the world of Ghost Box records.

    The Band: Beautify Junkyards are a very talented group of multi-instrumentalists headed up by João Branco Kyron on vocals and keyboards, Helena Espvall (formerly of Espers) on cello, flute and electric guitar, João Moreira on acoustic guitar and keyboards, Sergue Ra on bass and Antonio Watts on drums and percussion. Newest member, Martinez was recruited just in time to contribute vocals on Garden by the Sea. Joining the band as writing and performing collaborators on Cosmorama are: Nina Miranda (of Smoke City fame) on vocals on the title track and on Reverie and Parangolé, Alison Bryce of NYC’s Lake Ruth on vocals on Deep Green and classical & contemporary harpist Eduardo Raon on A Garden by the Sea and The Fountain.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    says: I know, I know, it's Ghost Box. We know it's going to be amazing but WHAT SORT of amazing? This particular one is hazy psychedelic montage in a film amazing, if you liked the Hintermass LP a few years ago (if not, why not?) then it's THAT amazing. Hazy, psychedelic folk mixed with tropical percussion and flickering synths all over.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.


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