[6 June 2014]
Much like a vast canvas on which a pleasant, mid-century mid-afternoon rural scene is depicted in somewhat impulsive, hastily thick-brushed detail, Eyes, Wings and Many Other Things’s Rural Pain is best enjoyed as the sum of its parts rather than through any attempt to parse out its individual elements. Taken as a whole, it plays as a hazy, somnambulant stroll through thick summer afternoon air, various insects buzzing about as tiny dust clouds swirl about your feet, the sun high and warming the whole of your body, slowing everything around to a lethargic crawl.
Until “The Night”, that is. A carnival-esque nightmare scene played in sound, it has a slightly jarring, disorienting effect that springs the listener back into a state of hyper alertness, on guard for whatever might come next. As the shortest track on the album it is an aural outlier. By the time its three minutes are over, and “Still Waiting” begins, calm serenity returns and the listener is once more lost in the sound, in the repetition. It’s heavily immersive music that requires a certain willingness to allow yourself to simply let go and let the sound wash over you.