On his debut as Mimicking Birds, Portland’s Nate Lacy exposed a rare gift for cyclical melody and atmospheric soul-searching. On Eons, his sophomore effort for Glacial Pace Recordings, Lacy opens up his internal world into a vast starry landscape where “Mountains slide away from their fault lines / Taper into new shorelines / Sliding down the timeline / Pull the nerves up through your spine.” Those lines typify Eons, which contains a fullness and a fragility, a tension between the outer and inner. It’s a gorgeously organic record made for headphones, a record that screams the Pacific Northwest’s windy coasts and still forests, evoking everyone from Ugly Casanova and Horse Feathers to Fleet Foxes and Freelance Whales. The shifting speed of Lacy’s delivery on “Acting your Age” lulls the listener like the ebb and flow of the Pacific. “Bloodlines” and “Memorabilia” marry impactful imagery to an instinctive understanding of prosody in their lyrical composition. “Moving On” ends the album with a futuristic trip through the stars, Lacy’s voice somewhere between awed and distracted, a tremulous affectation that seems to be exploring the music itself.
Eons slipped through a lot of critical fingers when it arrived earlier this year, and I can only attribute that to its airy, ethereal quality. It’s an album that needs time to seep inside you, to settle in and fill all the spaces with its loosely connected patchwork of scratchy guitar, pattering drums, distorted piano, twisting internal rhymes, and Lacy’s hypnotic delivery. These elements combine, piece by piece, to achieve the most miraculous construction of all: one so carefully built that it looks completely random. An unassuming beaver’s dam with the power to stop a river.