In 2012, in Yagull, Sasha Markovic took the path not often chosen in the progressive musics regimen with his Films release: a disc of even-tempered sophisticated strains neither apocalyptic nor hyperthyroidal nor rage-encrusted nor even just crashingly dissonant purely for the sake of noise (you know how that goes, doncha?). Distributed by MoonJune, a label famed for its embrasure of all those modes and a good deal more, Films may have set some listeners back a few steps but most, critics included, were quite enthusiastic, and the disc sold out. Not a bad way to make one's entrance, along with one's fellows, into the music world. Well, now Markovic's teamed up with vocalist Sarah Schrift, and set the dial all the way back, in The Sours returning to the early Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Al Stewart, Roches days of stripped down verite folk.
This is eventide music, notes and words for that interleaving zone when day's done and night's impending, when one is alone with one's thoughts and a glass of tea or wine (or, in my case, absinthe), shadows lengthening, birds fluttering to sleep, the bustle and roar of the day ratcheting down to a beeline buzz, an over-the-horizon muted resonance of a distant thoroughfare. The duet is only twice augmented by the addition of a piano wielded by Kana Kamitsubo from Yagull, yet I find these tracks to be significant in that the presence of a third set of hands starts to bend The Sours in another direction, deepening the mood of the thread of ongoing narrative, contrasting the predominant atmosphere in order to sharpen its edges just a mite.
And I suspect that this outer periphery may well be an indication of things to come. When The Sours ends on Schrift's solo Egret, you find it to be the perfect denouement, that everything which should have been said was, and that you have neither questions nor reaction, just a sense of aptness, finality. No more music can be played unless you first go for a contemplative walk or just sit in the deepening gloom with a candle or soft light aglow in the corner. There aren't many discs that quietly stop the world like that, but this is one of them. Of course, my words cannot do the rare instance justice, so you have to listen. When you're done, you have to stop thinking. Just exist.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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