Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kellen Shipley - Deep Breaths (Roll Over Rover CD-R)

Here's another number from that latest Roll Over Rover batch to get sent my way, this one coming from another previously unknown dude to me. Apparently the man himself has mostly been making songs for a spin but this is a real drifter, totally unraveled and expansive in scope. Which falls right in there for me given the hot weather and sedentary nature of working in the record store. Nice little soundtrack for perusing clientele as well.

Starts off with this buzzer of a drone track that features some pen drawn horizontal lines that fade from green to yellow to orange and back. Dave McPeters' organ contribution gives it that organic sound too, so as to really lift it off and into the clouds, albeit with a tinge of sadness for soils left beneath. Spare enough to really float though, the thing isn't bogged down by anything at all, as ephemeral as they come. Nice thing here too is that the album closes in on an hour in length, so over the course of seven tracks there's a ton of diversity, but the vision's all the same. Twinkling bells and life force swells on track two, which sees McCann and Ashlinn Smith contributing drums and vocals respectively. Flies right into some neo-nexus space age discovery too, at which point the unbearable blackness of nothing goes white and time stands still till you arrive on Xenu, where all plants are purple and no one is alone. Third done creeps right up from the ponds of the first one too, presenting a kind of chilly haze where McCann's synth co-mingles with Shipley's whatever-the-hell to conjure some zones that bob about, reveling in the oil slicks for their buoyant properties. Slides right on out too, real slippery-like, all shiny black but with rainbows when the light hits it right. Of course in comparison to track four it seems more like a pool of sludge than a graceful little oil pool, as four is so momentously hypnotic as to tear aside any of its less welcoming properties with measly little key melodies that trickle about under McCann's swell drum work. Perhaps the most focused thing on here, but not without settling beautifully in among the rest of it with sun dappled outlooks and fuzzy beaming insides. Really grabs hold of some Lion King vibes without sounding like a whack African hijacking scenario.

Fifth track mellows it out a bit, McCann again contributing with some lovely viola work, getting nearly bluesy but still maintaining the lofty, not even close to down-and-out feel. Just restful and content while harmonica and guitar twang gratifyingly across each others chicken coops, sipping on bourbon and getting increasingly light in the ol' loafers. More guitar fry on six, with Smith again offering up talents on organ, giving it a kind of arcade dream state feel--fuzzed and fine by me, I say. Seven sees McPeters and Smith on organ and pennywhistle, but no matter how you cut it it's clear this is one concept and I reckon it must all be that of Shipley's, as sliding nimbus sounds sift through one another across pale birds wings and grazes of sun. It's a lovely closer that's as peaceful as anything here, settling it all back down to within earshot of the houses, but far enough away that not a voice can be heard. Just nice folks scuttling around. Lovely.

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