Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Autumn's Grey Solace "Monajjfyllen" (2014)


Autumn's Grey Solace are an American duo who could be considered a "spiritual successor" to the Scotish group Cocteau Twins who broke musical boundaries in the 1980's with their wordless Ethereal dream music. Scott, all instruments and Erin, vocals have been creating dreamy, melancholy ethereal music since 2002 and I have had the honor of being able to feature their music in some of my videos. The two refine some of the Cocteau Twin's best ideas and in their beginnings, delivered glossy sombre guitars and beautifully soft, delicate, almost ghostly vocals over gentle drumming, calm baselines and acoustic chords that echo out captivating serene revebs. Across the six records since the first the duo have dropped the subtleties and drifted further into rich reverbs and glossed over sounds which until this point had been nothing but a delight.

With not a lot of promotion, or presence online "Monajjfyllen" slipped completely under my radar with the duos migration to bandcamp. I was praying for more from the two and now its arrived Ive got to say I feel disappointed. The new record has lush aesthetics as one would expect. Erin's voice is as soft, airy and dreamy as ever. The guitars vibrant gentle tones always playing off the reverb, and there's a thick layer of airy reverbs and synths gliding through the mix. Its all great, but the music behind it doesn't carry the same weight.

Every track on the record drifts through itself in a haze of self indulgence that seemingly forgets to be spectacular in ways the duo usually are. None of the tracks break from the status quo and the temperature set in the opening moments never changes intensity as the songs drone for a few minutes before coming to an end. There's a lack of hooks, spark or excitement, and of what the album does offer feels very much familiar to the tones of previous songs. Each track brings a guitar chord to echo out over and over while the bass and drums quietly keep tempo. Erin's vocals, despite delightful in tone, fail to encapsulate and I'm left wondering If the magics gone or I've simply gotten my fill of this sound. "Divinian" was ripe with ideas and excitement and with this one offering just thirty minutes across eight tracks it feels like the two just didn't have the inspiration.

Favorite Track: Neowollic
Rating: 3/10

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