Thursday, August 26, 2010

Br'er / Hermit Thrushes split on Single Girl Married Girl Records

Br'er creates sprawling eclectic compositions that teeter between free form modern classical and eccentric pop. Someone who can put together cello, a warbling handsaw (played by Edible Onion's own Darian) and a harp gives you some idea of the mind able to conceive of these dense layered compositions. It recalls a romanticized dusty nostalgia of old black and white photographs in the attic, broken ancient machines from carnival side shows in the basement. You want to go look, it's probably the most interesting place you've ever been, but you wouldn't be surprised to find a part of a body under that drop cloth.

Br'er utilizes all kinds of production on 'Answer back Al', painstakingly recording live gong strikes to electronically chopping up a shaker to produce inhuman tempos, which changes constantly throughout the track, massive changes, abruptly stopping and having no relation to each other. It's completely scizophrenic, theatrical and impossible. It remains an organic experiment, there's a constant interplay between the sweet familiar sounds of classical instruments and the sometimes harsh machinery of alien sounds. To even be able to envision this, to plan for the recording process...I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around it.

'Endometriosis' is as complex as the medical condition... done with a haunting simplicity and gypsy rhythms of Beirut. Benedict's vocals remain a delicate element, an angelic Sufjan sounding soprano. The whole time spent building of an immense fragile song structure which then is shattered with the clatter of a washing machine?...I know it's in there somewhere.. All of this combined with the imagery of the sleeve and insert it breeds a kind of unsettling package. Half nightmare and half redemption. Benedict is an incredible talent you hear immediately the first 30 seconds, the range of emotion and single minded composition is insanely rare. Right alongside Xiu Xiu, creating a baffling, unique audio cabinet of curiosities.

Hermit Thrushes have a lot to live up to on their B-Side and they answer back with 'What happened to your hand'. It's an intricate acoustic guitar finger-picked oddity like Gastr del Sol's weirdo minimalism, the starts and stops, the untuned guitar bursts. This evolves into Firey Furnaces explosions of operatic rock, intricate outstretched narratives and moments of complete unharmony. Choruses of unusual vocals and instrumentation.
Bone and Shell, the next one (yes this is a 7") is deliberately scattered, carefully on the verge of collapse, ambient sounds of kids playing punctuated by bursts of metal, they're playing with everything's an ensemble of like minded chaos and the results are overwhelming. I'm glad I can enter both of these worlds in small doses of 7 Inches because it feels like a full length.

Amazing sleeve art from Sam Heimer, it's a great overall collaboration, really well thought out...these three work together creating this accessible freak show.....a really crazy ride from both sides.

Available from Single Girl Married Girl Records or Edible Onion.

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