Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Volcano Choir- Unmap

volcano choir

1. Husks and Shells*
2. Seeplymouth*
3. Island, IS*
4. Dote
5. And Gather
6. Mbira in the Morass
7. Cool Knowledge
8. Still*
9. Youlogy


(Sam) /
- Volcano Choir was formed way back in 2005, before anyone had heard of Justin Vernon or Bon Iver. It was said to be a project that was inspired by music itself. That may seem stupid or pretentious, but it is really true. This album breathes and flows in a way that seems to be forgotten in current popular music. Every song has layers of percussion, keys, twinkly guitars, and vocals that all weave together and never feel out of place. But more importantly, there is time to reflect and take it all in. Never do you feel overwhelmed or dizzy, even though there are some complex things going on, and some songs like "Mbira in the Morass" get a little strange. Take the best vocals from a Bon Iver song, the acoustic lines from Pele's "Elephant," and the loops and ambiance of Collections of Colonies of Bees, and you've got Volcano Choir. There is some very interesting production and effects as well, and every song is unique. I just wish it was a little longer.


(Tyler) - /
There is something about Justin Vernon's voice that really lends itself to bare and fragile music and as disjointed and it sometimes gets here, a detectable, cohesive beauty remains. There are definitely a few tracks that I found pretty obnoxious, but it doesn't matter because the experimental energy of the whole thing is so positive and great. "Island, Is" stands out as the most obviously accessible track on the album and is fantastic, while "Husks and Shells" and "Seeplymouth" are delicately plucked fragments of ambient guitar goodness. "Still" was a nice little surprise as it is "Woods" from the last Bon Iver e.p. with some added ambient orchestration in the beginning, swelling into epic drums, mangled fiddle diddle guitar lines, and beautiful supporting drones, and is a lot better. Most of the rest of the album consists of meandering ambient experiments, which are enjoyable, but I don't see myself revisiting them as much as the aforementioned songs. In conclusion, this album is super good and I highly recommend you listen to it.

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