Profoundly calm, bliss-out slowcore magic. I’ve raved previously about Matt Christensen, who leads the Chicago band Zelienople, and who has been experimenting with texture and improvisation under his own name. His Bandcamp feels like a diary, or an exercise in forming ideas spontaneously and letting them go; he releases an average of an album every two weeks. This collects some of his more song-oriented recent work, which draws on sounds from desert blues, dream-pop, drone, and free improv. Pensive and melancholy but reflective, hypnotic, centered, exhilarating in its open-endedness. All songs slow unless otherwise noted. Favorites: 1, 3, 7, 8, 12. FCC WARNING: 10.|
1. *(4:33)—Loping lullaby pop. Gleaming, relatively upbeat. “If there was a heaven, we could all breathe.”
2. (3:20)—Cavernous folk-pop. Vaguely reminiscent of Radiohead circa The Bends?
3. *(5:33)—Deep drum pads, guitars underwater in the summer dark. Makes me think of the xx but much more spaced out.
4. (5:34)—Sliding electronic rhythm, weird David Lynch jazz approaching trip-hop.
5. (4:36)—Rave-up rhythm, buzzing synths.
6. (4:57)—Meandering, dark and lush like an early 4AD demo.
7. *(7:57)—Muted blues, desolate. Barely-there drums. Think Ali Farka Toure playing with Low.
8. *(8:10)—Soft, jazzy drums and stand-up bass. Like a sadder, looser Talk Talk “New Grass.” Long, ominous outro.
9. (4:19)—Simple. Mid-tempo strummed acoustic guitar and soft jangly guitar melodies.
10. (5:23)—FCC (f***). Very slow, bluesy, warm. feels like Songs: Ohia circa Ghost Tropic or Didn’t It Rain.
11. (6:02)—Bouncing retro synth sounds.
12. *(6:37)—Dark, drifting, jazzy. Very Talk Talk. Softly dissonant guitar, threads of ghostly voice. Splashes of piano.
13. (4:45)—Spaced-out electric guitar strumming.