Mind Over Mirrors

Bellowing Sun

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Bellowing Sun is Mind Over Mirrors' second album as a full band, with Freakwater's Janet Beveridge Bean, Califone's Jim Becker, and percussionist Jon Mueller (Collections of Colonies of Bees, Volcano Choir) accompanying founder Jaime Fennelly. As with 2017's Undying Color, Bellowing Sun adds a dose of cosmic Americana to MOM's raga-inspired droning, with rustic violins and pounding drums meshing with Fennelly's shimmering, neon synth arpeggios and wheezing Indian harmonium. Bellowing Sun is easily the most conceptually ambitious MOM work yet, composed over a period of three years and designed as a multimedia performance piece, during which a colorful, drum-shaped light sculpture known as a zoetrope is suspended over the musicians, who are encircled by the audience. For those who aren't fortunate enough to attend the performances, the album is a fascinating experience on its own. Even more so than on Undying Color, MOM are a living, breathing unit, fully in tune with each other's creative energies. The album is an intricately arranged suite filled with minimalist drum patterns, kaleidoscopic synth sequences, and transcendent yet earthly vocals. There's a decreased presence of distorted harmonium compared to previous MOM releases, and Becker's fiddle playing seems more thoroughly integrated into the mix. One of the album's exhilarating highlights, "Zeitgebers," is driven by an uptempo Motorik beat which makes the piece feel like a brisk train ride through the countryside. "Vermillion Pink" is more drawn-out and a whole lot trippier, with delayed synth pulsations throbbing against a manic tapestry of echoing drums and interstellar hollers. Bean's hypnotic zither playing takes center stage on "Talking Knots," where it's twisted into brain-teasing phasing patterns. Undying Color was clearly the beginning of a new phase for Mind Over Mirrors, but its follow-up feels more complete, and hopefully anticipates something even more dazzling.

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