Autumn's Grey Solace

Divinian

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Coming ten years after their debut release, it's a little startling to realize that Autumn's Grey Solace have been steadily working away over years, but it's also gratifying to sense that after a too-familiar start they have slowly but surely been coming into their own as a duo. The combination of Erin Welton and Scott Ferrell has rarely sounded so natural as on Divinian, their bliss-out/dream pop influences translating into subtly varied approaches throughout -- not least from the opening song "Shadow, Light, Echo," a spaced-out number that's more pure texture and drum machine than anything else. This sense of floating out in the ether, or at least somewhere between the earth and the moon, lends Divinian a distinct quality that plays out throughout the album, not least due to some excellent sequencing. When "Ecelic" provides the first really big energy boost -- in a relative sense, admittedly -- its timing couldn't be better, reshaping the album just enough, while "Zenith" later provides an unexpected nod back to classic late-'50s rock & roll ballads in its arrangement, at least via Angelo Badalamenti. "Unravel" might be the most telling song in the end -- while somewhat reminiscent of Morningrise-era Slowdive, more importantly, it easily matches down to a snarling solo that shreds -- just enough -- in context.

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