The Sight Below

It All Falls Apart

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Rafael Anton Irisarri’s first album as the Sight Below was titled after a My Bloody Valentine EP. Two of its songs happened to share titles with songs by the Verve and Ride. The connection between It All Falls Apart and shoegaze runs deeper: Simon Scott, who played drums in the Charlottes and Slowdive, provides “guitars, treatments, and electronics” on three songs, co-writing and co-producing two of them with the Pacific Northwest producer. Not merely another album of impeccably made ambient thump-and-drone, It All Falls Apart improves upon the exceptional debut in that it is more evocative and less insular, with a sense of openness that is far more comforting than alienating. Only two songs -- back to back, in the middle of the sequence -- carry that muffled Gas-eous pulse-rhythm heard on Glider, and even those are elegantly downcast, graced with layers of deceptively contrasting guitar-generated drones that can create states of anxious bliss and becalmed terror (to such an affecting extent that Irisarri could have justifiably swiped the title of the Verve's first album, A Storm in Heaven). A slow-motion, almost motionless, rendering of Joy Division's “New Dawn Fades,” featuring pitched-down-sounding vocals from Jesy Fortino (Tiny Vipers), resembles a Velvet Underground & Nico ballad heard through wind-tunnel squall. “A change of speed, a change of style” takes on a literal meaning here.

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