Cloudland Canyon

Fin Eaves

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After the 2008 release of Cloudland Canyon's Lie in Light, Kip Uhlhorn's partner Simon Wojan left to pursue his more active gig with King Khan & the Shrines. On Fin Eaves Uhlhorn is back with a slew of collaborators, not the least of which is his wife, Kelly, who not only does the gorgeous artwork on the cover, but sings and co-writes a tune, and helps the process along. Last time out, CC were deep into a Krautrock thang, where fixed and syncopated rhythms met noise, droning repetition, and elegant harmonics. By contrast, Fin Eaves is a blissed-out rock & roll dream, kissed by the sunshine vistas of Cloudland Canyon itself (a nationally renowned state park in Tennessee), the sonic experimentation of neo-psychedelic warriors Spacemen 3, and the blasted melodies of early Jesus and Mary Chain -- though it is still its own sprawling, outrageously atmospheric animal. The first highlight on this fabulous journey into heart and mind expansion is "No One Else Around." Waves of harpsichord, washed-out noise, doubled basses playing a three-note progression, and bleached-out guitars load the front end. Uhlhorn's vocals are double- or triple-tracked with the hints of a sprightly, romantic melody as Kelly's backing vocal falls down over them from the ether like water on rocks in a stream. While Justin Broadrick's Jesu does something like this, this isn't glacial in its evolution: this track really moves; sounds glide over one another creating a fast-floating cloud of sonic pleasure -- with nary a trace of drums present. "Sister" uses gospel music not unlike Spiritualized, but it's celebratory rather than yearning or pleading for redemption. A single-string electric guitar plays a solo line up-front, basslines bubble the changes, and crackling noise floods the foreground as Uhlhorn's multi-tracked vocals find a minimal melody to underscore the reverb-laden rhythm guitars. "Pinklike/Version" actually sounds like a sonically treated, poorly captured live recording transformed by textured excess into something so much greater than the sum of its parts, as tambourines push a pair of melodies into one another and cover the instruments in a woozy gauze of warmth, emotion, and movement. Fin Eaves' mix doesn't have anything in it you haven't heard before, but you've never heard the elements put together like this before, either. It's a powerful, massively textured thing whose heavily treated grooves (yes, grooves) are drenched in ambiguous, deeply poetic beauty.

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