Taken from the Canadian ambient musician’s new album Hush Hush, COP26 is one of four pieces that comprise the LP, all of which were created by combining several 16th century choral arrangements that were then altered and spliced together using reel-to-reel machines, before being played live via an array of eight guitar amps. For fans of William Basinski, Stars of the Lid and generally being awestruck while thinking Big Thoughts.
Year Of Love is the second single to be released from Jenny Hval’s forthcoming album Classic Objects – her first studio album for 4AD. The song explores a “very troubling” experience she had of witnessing a marriage proposal at one of her performances. Plenty of artists, I’m sure, would have experienced this as a purely romantic act, and thought very little about it afterwards, but for Hval it elicited questions about how her art impacts others, and her own marriage; themes she explores and attempts to resolve over the course of the song.
Of course, you could just ignore all that and enjoy what is – lyrics aside – one of the most upbeat songs in her catalogue to date.
After an exhaustive (10 minute) search online there’s nothing I can tell you about Damiana I’m afraid, other than their latest release Vines was released on a clear vinyl limited to 100 copies which has now sold out. Too late suckers! This came out back in May but – 100 clear vinyl fanatics aside – seems to have flown largely under the radar, which is a shame as it’s really beautiful. Think Enya minus the hooks, with a little shake of Engima(!), combined with a dollop of mid 90s ambient trance – Chicane, or someone similar. Sounds fucking hideous right!? Well it’s not, I promise.
To my shame, I only recently found out that Stars of the Lid founder Adam Wiltzie made up one half of A Winged Victory For The Sullen – the other half being L.A. composer Dustin O’Halloran – which considering how much I love SOTL, I really should have been more aware of. Desires Are Already Memories is taken from their forthcoming album Invisible Cities, which is a paired-down version of the score to Leo Warner’s acclaimed theatre production. Like much of their work it sits somewhere between hope and despair, with choral voices and aching beautiful strings combining to tremendous effect.
I’ve loved pretty much everything Julianna Barwick has done over the past decade, so waking up to a new album of hers today was a very welcome surprise. Healing Is A Miracle is everything I’d hoped it would be: immersive, soothing, emotional, fragile, beautiful. Oh, Memory is an early highlight, and further cements my yearning for live shows come back in some form really soon, as if I don’t have the opportunity to listen to this in a church or similarly reverential venue I’m going to be very disappointed.