If I'm being honest with myself, a rarity among rarities, few things (no thing, really, since I self-censor like the charlesdickens & versifying requires you the reader to hold a decoder ring unless there are spoilers) here are more nerve-wracking than reviewing music. It's not the falling back on too-worn tropes, words, phrases. That, I can deal with, as I do each time I jot down new lines in the black notebook, almost full. 99 cents at Marc's. Saying the same thing over & again just is, like the ascension & decline of the sun, people being assholes to one another, the miserable collective failure of Clevelandia sports. The difficulty? Describing sound?
Music equaling memory. No, not as simple as people & places & happenstance grafting themselves onto the notes, tendrils worming their way through the measures from the outside to nestle in a chord, to rupture without premonition Sigourney knows, remember when X said to Y, oh Z, I like root beer floats, too. Never that soundtrack shallow. If only. Nor always that quantifiable. To the mind's ear, sound is roaring ocean, so scream & plead & kick the cold sand all you want, there is only ocean, roaring. Details made imprecise by an emotional imprint. Think a ghost, a painfully bright nebula, a cloud beguiling & poisonous.
New albums mean new ones (or old, not reborn but reshaped, for no one lies to ourselves as much as we) receive their permanence, rooted to a place in the cranial landscape, free will an illusion, & that means both a blessing & a curse, forgive the triteness but naught else applies as the visceral roams the wanderer, possessing, & who can predict the aftermath?
Sounds incredibly dorky, I know, but my innards are neither postmodern nor pragmatic. Sometimes an album-adjacent gut spill is okay since all names have been changed to protect the innocent, statute of limitations, & so forth. This is fresh, thus, whew. Anyway, going song by song on Ariettes Oubliées... which I've listened to nearly nonstop since yester morn save a shade over three for sleep, feels fruitless. Les Discrets is an album band in the finest tradition & given that mastermind Fursy Teyssier is also a skilled artist responsible for band's visual presentation, why waste time with blatherings beyond the album's kernel being the Paul Verlaine poem of the title, the tiny aria re-imagined as a woman, hazy stories of a couple, transmitted mostly through the texts of vocalist/lyricist Audrey Hadorn, spooling away from that conceit.
Yes, there's nothing as immediate as Song for Mountains, & the palette is less busy on the surface, the textures layered more like one of those old topographic globes, richer browns & longer blues spinning sepia slow. It's hard enough unlocking the swirling processes of my own flailing in the dark, let alone those of someone else, so pardon the fluorescent-ruined photography, but observe,
& understand. What? That's for you. I'm gonna go pretend to headphone, maybe