Angelo Badalamenti made music like this for Twin Peaks as Julee Cruise provided seductively succubal vocals to melancholy refrains, and that's the first impression received when the listener hears They Marry, the opening cut, a deceptively crafted song that keeps unfolding and unfolding. It's a tone that continues through the CD, though not in the same vein as Badalamenti set up. Mi and L'au sing and play a variety of instruments while a number of labelmates (including the superbly sympathetic Akron / Family [here]) and friends chip in, everyone perfectly attuned to a fairyland of soporifically entrancing downer music.
There's quite a decent echo of Lisa Germano as well, in that ennui zone she occupies so well. That the musicians and songs come from Finland begins to explain the beautifully drear ambiance, a mood matching much of the better musics from the region…as witness Sigur Ros, Jan Garbarek, and any number of pallmeisters. Particularly effective is the use of toy piano, a "novelty" instrument that's been inserted into numerous alt recordings over the last 20 years but never so efficaciously as here, pitching a glassine delicacy taking the already fragile songs a step further.
I've Been Watching You is highly reminiscent of Nick Drake's eerie and creepy Pink Moon period—short and neurotic but meaningful amid a spare but compelling instrumental matrix. The lethargy and doldrums of the entire release are the point in itself, evincing the fact that such despondency has hidden values and aesthetics, the corner of the psyche most will not peer into but which nevertheless hides immense subtlety and depth. Of course this is a Young God label release, of course it's going well off the beaten path, and of course you're never going to hear it on radio, just as you never caught Nico there, because if people were to start consuming intelligent music again, like in the 70s, well…God, what would happen to our trajectory into conservative hell?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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