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Laura Gibson and Ethan Rose

Bridge Carols

(Holocene; US: 9 Feb 2010; UK: Import)

The desire to push her music in new directions was already evident from Laura Gibson’s second LP Beasts of Seasons, where her singing got less direct and her music less “folk”, closer to abstraction. The next step is this Bridge Carols project with experimental musician Ethan Rose, described by the duo in press releases as an expression of their “shared desire to challenge old ways of working”. Rose took recordings of Gibson’s unused singing fragments and rearranged them. The result is clearly adventurous, but also gorgeous. It’s a hazy work of vapor and light.


Gibson’s voice is integrated into that sound thoroughly, and her lyrics as presented here are thoughts and fragments of stories, often telling of childhood dreams or visions. Gibson’s voice flows together with gentle hovering tones and the shifting sounds that appear and disappear around them. Bridge Carols recalls the way memory and thought enchant us and escape from us. It emulates the vagueness and specificity of nature, the way something concrete can also seem like an utter puzzle.

Rating:

Dave Heaton has been writing about music on a regular basis since 1993, first for unofficial college-town newspapers and DIY fanzines and now mostly on the Internet. In 2000, the same year he started writing for PopMatters, he founded the online arts magazine ErasingClouds.com, still around but often in flux. He writes music reviews for the print magazine The Big Takeover. He is a music obsessive through and through. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.


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