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NIGHT SCHOOL RECORDS

Erasers

Constant Connection

    On their third album Constant Connection, West Australian-based Erasers create hypnotic compositions of synth, guitar and voice, evoking the vast expanse of their native landscape and the shrouded emotions behind the senses. Comprising of vocalist, synth player Rebecca Orchard and Rupert Thomas on guitar and synths, Erasers have developed their earthly kosmische music into an open language based on drone, variation in repetition and minimal song structures. Based in Perth, regarded one of the most isolated cities in the world, Orchard and Thomas’s music has brewed in the city’s vibrant DIY/Outsider community and evolved into a meditation on landscape, power, the shadow-world of human emotions and stream of consciousness. Constant Connection, with its waves of sound and chant-like vocals evokes a trance that suggests an infinity just beyond the senses.

    At the heart of each Erasers composition is the interplay between the instrumentation, played with stoic restraint and recorded directly with minimal effects and the transcendental states induced in the listener. It’s a magic that is performed in plain sight and all the more powerful for it. The recognisable vibrato of Fender Rhodes keyboards and simple drum machine loops, the subtle strands of analog synth melodies that snake in and out of the ear, above all the towering encantations of Rebecca Orchard’s undeniably Australian-accented hymns; all of this is presented with minimal ostentation and yet it instantly engenders a dream state, hints at an infinity beyond the material.

    Shades of John Cale’s 70s work with Nico, early 70s German synthesists Kluster and even fellow Australians Fabulous Diamonds can be seen as stylistic touchstones for Constant Connection. Where Nico hinted at the macabre and gothic, Rebecca Orchard’s similarly gliding vocal is more zoned in to a kind of oceanic openness, with words becoming chants and spells that suggested themselves to the singer during recording sessions. It’s this hidden hand of improvisatory, automatic writing that lends a sense of expanse to the music. On opener I Understand, while the lyrics might hint at discontent the emotional spectrum it opens up is far more rich and complex, as layered as the waves of droning chords that are the bedrock of each Erasers track. The title track talks of flow, continuum and balance, the protagonist in the song seemingly weightless, gently pulled through a walking reality that borders on dream. In Erasers’ world, it seems, the borders between reality and dream, consciousness and sub-consciousness are blurred and eroded.

    On Constant Connection, Erasers’ music might be deeply evocative of landscape but it’s never clear which one. The vast, open terrain that surrounds Perth is dusty, burned by the sun into desert and Constant Connection feels like the product of the heat and relative isolation, the altered states these elements can create. But it’s these altered states of mind that appear to be the real landscape described by Erasers. It’s a landscape that’s hazy, in-and-out of focus, with emotional undertows pushing and pulling you into a weightlessness. On album closer Easy To See the band dispense with percussion all together, field recordings of the water at the edge of their native city ushering in two duetting synths. Orchard’s vocal undulates with the flow, viewing both the geographical and psychological landscape from the perspective of a consciousness not bound by bodies and from a timescale measured in millennia. The album ends as it begins, with field recordings of the real world that the music seeps out from, temporarily, before regressing back into the other realm it feels like it belongs to.

    Between these two recorded hints of reality, Erasers manifest a deeply sensual dreamscape that constantly feels like it’s dissolving at its seams. A desert psychedelia emanating from a real world that might not be that real in the first place.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. I Understand
    2. You See
    3. Constant Connection
    4. Tending To Twenty
    5. Folding
    6. A Breeze
    7. Away From It All
    8. Easy To See

    'Twenty-Twenty' is Molly Nilsson’s 8th album; the latest opus of an artist in a constant state of development and strength. 'Twenty-Twenty' is about emerging from the husk of your old self, about binning the chrysalis and daring to stand up both to power, and also to your own limits. In 2018, we see the climate changing, democracy crumbling, inequality and injustice erupting. 2020 examines the near future, seeking out clarity, reflection, renewal and opportunity. It contains anthems so tall as to induce vertigo, leaving the taste of Euro Dance in your mouth, albeit without a four on the floor beat. Here, the pop auteur is haunted by the late Prince, channelling Courtney Love and Lou Reed, anger and love.

    Recorded as ever in her own Lighthouse Studios and co-released with her imprint Dark Skies Association, the record is consistent in strategy and approach to past releases, yet on 2020 Nilsson pushes the limits of what can be said in the scope of a pop song even further. Despite working with used keyboard sounds that evoke memories of a distorted past, the sound is distinctly contemporary. The record drifts between playful punk methods and hi-fi ideas, strikingly clear through the fuzz of a surrounding world painted with reverb. Rather than gracefully dissecting, 2020 rips apart personal neuroses and insecurities, looking for the roots of issues and the equation that, when solved, will produce the future. “I don’t care if the world is through, every night is new,” 2020 erupts with fist-in-the-air empowerment, a realization that if we’re all alone down here, we can still make it. Every Night Is New is a personal and societal manifesto, a slogan comprising the different layers that make this record Molly Nilsson’s most personal, evocative and emotionally packed in years. First single Serious Flowers is a naked confessional trance hit stripped of its beat. Centred around broken trust and friendship, Nilsson sings over suspenseful synth strings with a vocal delivery so inexact and honest, its vulnerability seems almost unaware of itself. Although very much in the vein of Nilsson’s production style on her recent albums, Days of Dust, accomplishes escape and breaks free from the past. There’s a carpe diem immediacy to this fast-paced Rock Song that belies Nilsson’s near-iconic self-contained delivery: “Like I had just been saved from a burning building of desire, I got back up and I ran right into the fire.” It’s so immediate, and speaks so perfectly about the nature of desire, that you wonder how you’d never thought about it like that before.

    The themes on the album are submerged in the inner life, lucidly dreaming with one eye open, fixated on the external world and its growing pains. Nilsson turns inward and seeks answers to questions imposed by physical existence, examining one's own responsibility in the face of climate change (A Slice of Lemon), the political depression of society (Gun Control), and the struggles with drinking, between euphoria and despair (Blinded by the Night). The serious topics aren't met with hopelessness; the tone suggests defenceless optimism and a tight grip on desire. This time around, we’re not examining the past with Molly Nilsson, we’re becoming who we want to be. We’re exploring the future, accepting who we are, clear eyed and with perfect vision, near and far sighted alike.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Every Night Is New
    2. A Slice Of Lemon
    3. Out Of The Blue
    4. Your Shyness
    5. Intermezzo: My Mental Motorcycle
    6. Serious Flowers
    7. I'm Your Fan
    8. Gun Control
    9. Days Of Dust
    10. Blinded By The Night

    Patience

    White Of An Eye

      Patience – aka songwriter Roxanne Clifford – may have begun as a solo refuge from the Manchester-born, LA-Resident’s band duties but White Of An Eye, her 3rd single, is a fully formed, dancing-with-a tear-in-your-eye, confident Pop Moment. The attempt at shedding memories to embrace the present, an ode to the moment. Like her previous two singles The Church and The Pressure, Lewis Cook of Happy Meals engineers Clifford’s vision to Jacno-esque synth pop perfection. Blooming with a tentative synth cadence and nonchalant spoken word introduction, White Of An Eye soon erupts into perfect disco melancholy, with Clifford’s imagery perfectly nailing that nagging regret that haunts every new adventure. With the first appearance of a guitar hook in a Patience song, it’s a classic pop moment enunciated perfectly by Clifford’s instantly recognizable vocal.

      “Melted skies, horizon lines are floating overhead” Blue Sparks Is a nocturne peppered with impressionistic imagery, romantic and doomed. Minimalist and affecting, here Patience is simply two synth lines and Clifford’s vocal. It’s Patience’s version of a Berntholer-style sadness, even evoking a Yazoo ballad. Like a Johnny Jewel production injected with passion, Patience captures the spark between two human hearts, the elusive, indefinable chemistry of sleepless, endless nights.

      July saw Patience’s live debut, touring Japan with a full live band. The Fader will premiere the video for White Of An Eye, filmed by the Mulholland Fountain in Los Angeles and directed by Lawrence Klein.



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