|Slow Dawns For Lost Conclusions|
Bell Gardens — Slow Dawns For Lost Conclusions
Γ Red House Painters, Mojave 3, Spiritualised a Calexico: to vše by mohlo být citováno jako vlivy pro kapelu, a přesto žádný z nich nemůže zcela obsáhnout to, co Bell Gardens dělají. Γ Nejpomalejší jízda činel, lap–steel kytary a jemných reverbem nafintěných kytarových linek, zatímco hutné, sborové vokály vyživují stopy jako ve sborovém zpěvníku, vyznáních nebo obětech díků. Tento přístup se opakuje.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Album release: October 27, 2014
Record Label: Rocket Girl
01. Darker Side Of Sunshine 5:50
02. Silent Prayer 5:49
03. Sail 6:25
04. Joan's Ambulance 1:52
05. She's Stuck In The Endless Loop Of Her Decline 4:21
06. She Does 5:05
07. Trust Lost Trust 3:40
08. Avere 1:40
09. Take Us Away* 5:36
10. Why Me Lord 5:18
℗ 2014 Rocket Girl
Γ Track 1: Backing Vocals — Mark Colgrove
Γ Track 9: Backing Vocals — Douglas Armour, Julian Goldwhite*
Γ Kenneth James Gibson — Vocals, Guitar
Γ Brian McBride — Guitar, Keys, Vocals
Γ Chris Camacho — Bass, Vocals
Γ Julian Goldwhite — Pedal Steel, Guitar, Vocals
Γ Dain Luscombe — Keys, vocals
Γ Charlie Woodburn — Drums
Γ Artwork — Kelly Johnston–Gibson*
Γ Bass — Chris Camacho
Γ Drums — Charlie Woodburn
Γ Guitar, Synthesizer, Keyboards [Optigan], Programmed by, Written by, Recorded by, Producer — Brian Edward McBride*
Γ Mastered By — Chris McCormack
Γ Pedal Steel Guitar, Guitar [Dobro], Guitar, Banjo — Julian Goldwhite*
Γ Piano — Marty Stevens
Γ Piano, Piano [Rhodes] — Mark Colgrove
Γ Trumpet — Stewart Cole
Γ Viola, Violin — Lauren Chipman
Γ Vocals, Guitar, Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Percussion, Programmed By, Written-By, Γ Recorded By, Producer — Kenneth James Gibson
Ξ “Darker Side of Sunshine”, “Joan’s Ambulance”, “She’s Stuck in the Endless Loop of Her Decline”, “Trust Lost Trust”, “Take Us Away”: These song titles reflect the album’s slow, sad flow of destiny and escape. A cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Why Me” (billed here as “Why Me Lord”) is included as a digital–only bonus track; its hushed, hymnal plea for release — “Jesus, my soul’s in your hand,” McBride sings over a shivering ablution of strings — would be gently devastating in any context. But especially this one. Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions didn’t need an extra layer of portent and atmosphere hanging over its release. But it’s been given that layer anyway, and it only makes the songs feel that much more delicately heavy.
Γ C'est lent, plutôt sombre et en provenance de la "West Coast". A découvrir. J'avais préféré leur précédent album.
Γ Bell Gardens combines the musical visions of Kenneth James Gibson (formerly of Furry Things, now recording as [a]pendics.shuffle, dubLoner and Eight Frozen Modules) and Brian McBride (one half of Stars of the Lid) and began releasing music in 2010, beginning with an EP, Hangups Need Company on Failed Better/Burger Records. Γ Their debut album Full Sundown Assembly (Southern/Burger Records) appeared in 2012 and, now signed to Rocket Girl in the UK, the band are set to release their second, Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions, in September 2014.
Γ Bell Gardens’ origins began arguably as more of an experiment than the duo’s current ‘experimental’ projects — McBride’s drone– and string–laden ambient symphonies, and Gibson’s ventures in dub and minimalist techno — as they sought to manifest their mutual reverence for folk, psychedelia and chamber pop in a traditional band structure without cannibalising any particular past genre. Bell Gardens’ sound is less reliant on effects and studio trickery than the pairs’ independent guises, laying bare as it does vocals and live instruments with emotional sincerity, and presenting songs imbued with an almost pastoral or gospel simplicity and timelessness.
Γ Developing the plaintive widescreen Americana found on its predecessor, Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions is a record that, for all its subtlety, exhibits unashamed candour and is elevated by a much wider palette of players. While Full Sundown Assembly was recorded by McBride and Gibson working in tandem at home studios, Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions sees their personnel expand to include the live incarnation of the band: Julian Goldwhite (pedal steel), Chris Camacho (bass), Charlie Woodburn (drums), Mark Colgrove (keys), with additional keys by Marty Stewart and Buchla synth by Dain Luscombe (now a full–time member of Bell Gardens), who features on the bonus cover of Kris Kristofferson’s ‘Why Me, Lord’ along with wife Julie Carpenter on strings.
Γ Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions was again recorded mostly at home studios, but additionally the band made use of a friend’s desert cabin in Wonder Valley, California, and it seems this willingness to retreat from the city has lent an expansiveness to the tracks, in particular the spacious, ceremonial ‘Silent Prayer’ (written in a snowbound mountain cabin in Idyllwild, C.A.) and the crepuscular ‘She’s Stuck in an Endless Loop of Her Decline’ (mapped out under the stars in the desert).
Γ While the addition of strings (contributed by Lauren Chipman of The Rentals and The Section Quartet) and trumpet (Stewart Cole of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros) provides a double rainbow of tonal textures throughout, the nine tracks of Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions are united by an understated elegance belying the newly expanded, communal effort in the studio: each instrument earns its place, nothing is overwrought or conspicuous. Moreover, it is McBride and Gibson’s artistry in building stirring soundscapes from the barest of materials in their other guises that lends such assurance and sophistication to these arrangements.
Γ The band is a result of the complimentary cross–pollination of Gibson and McBride’s musical tastes — borne from a late–night conversation between the two that grew wings — and it is the universality of the sentiments and their restrained, reflective approach to writing and recording that allows the music to simultaneously straddle the past and the present. The music avoids pastiche, its pedal steel, sleigh bells and harmonies giving a nod to the ghosts of musical genres past, but never overriding or distracting from the emotional content of the sum of its parts.
Γ The album ends with the glorious ‘Take Us Away’ — one of the first demos Gibson gave McBride when he was on tour with Stars of the Lid — neatly bringing their work to date full circle and exemplifying the band’s mindfulness of their own serendipitous beginnings: the dawning of an auspicious, unique musical force.
Metropolist, Score: ****
Press: Vinita Joshi:
By Jason Heller; October 27, 2014; Score: 7.4
Γ On September 30, Daniel Crespo, the mayor of the Los Angeles suburb of Bell Gardens, was shot and killed. It wasn’t a political assassination. His wife pulled the trigger. This event is utterly unrelated to Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions, the second album by the dreamy, chamber–pop ensemble Bell Gardens. The group, which was cofounded by L.A.’s Brian McBride (Stars of the Lid), chose their name years ago; their debut EP Hangups Need Company came out in 2010, and their first album Full Sundown Assembly came out in 2012. But McBride has worked in soundtracks before, and fate has decreed that Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions can be viewed, in an unhappily accidental way, as the coincidental music to a tragedy.
Γ If the album wasn’t so magisterially moody, it would be easier to ignore the parallel. But from the ghostlike balladry of “Darker Side of Sunshine” to the windswept strumming of “Take Us Away”, McBride and Bell Garden’s other core member Kenneth James Gibson (formerly of Furry Things and now [a]pendics.shuffle, dubLoner, and Eight Frozen Modules, among others) create cinematic, big–vista threnodies dusted with tumbleweed Americana. The abstract, conceptual wavecraft of Stars of the Lid is only an apparition on the horizon; Gibson’s ambient treatments are dyed sepia and dissolved into the album’s threadbare fabric. Gibson has never sounded more like a conventional singer–songwriter, and his singing has improved vastly since Full Sundown Assembly. Not long ago, he strained to hit the notes and tones he seemed to be groping for; on Slow Dawns standouts like “Silent Prayer” and “She Does”, he navigates reverbed electric piano and tranquilized tambourine shakes with the easiest, breathiest grace.
Γ Bell Gardens has fleshed itself out since Full Sundown Assembly, and that expanded ensemble has led to a richer stratifying of strings, pedal steel, synth, and trumpet (some of which is supplied by guests Lauren Chipman of the Rentals and Stewart Cole of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros). It all forms a smothering, gray–brown haze, yet each element remains discreet and distinct, from the crisp acoustic chords of the instrumental “Joan’s Ambulance” to the chem-trail synths of “Take Us Away”. The brief, voiceless interlude “Avere” comes closest to scratching the group’s classical itch, but even its funereal, chamber–ready study in piano and violin sounds as if it’s being played under a Mojave palm.
Γ Eerily, the late Mayor Crespo’s profile page on the City of Bell Gardens’ website has not been updated to reflect his death. It says he can still be reached at his city email address; it also states with tragic irony that “in 1986, Mayor Crespo, a young teenager, married his high school sweetheart and has been married ever since.” Synchronicity can play a huge part in the way music is conceived, executed, released, and heard. Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions is no work of prophecy, but it may be a more diffuse kind of premonition, one that taps into some larger West Coast darkness.
Γ “Darker Side of Sunshine”, “Joan’s Ambulance”, “She’s Stuck in the Endless Loop of Her Decline”, “Trust Lost Trust”, “Take Us Away”: These song titles reflect the album’s slow, sad flow of destiny and escape. A cover of Kris Kristofferson’s “Why Me” (billed here as “Why Me Lord”) is included as a digital–only bonus track; its hushed, hymnal plea for release — “Jesus, my soul’s in your hand,” Gibson sings over a shivering ablution of strings — would be gently devastating in any context. But especially this one. Slow Dawns for Lost Conclusions didn’t need an extra layer of portent and atmosphere hanging over its release. But it’s been given that layer anyway, and it only makes the songs feel that much more delicately heavy. :: http://pitchfork.com/
|Slow Dawns For Lost Conclusions|