I don’t really care too much for hippies; they stink and the peace, love, flower power bullshit rubs me the wrong way. We’d all love to drop out of the white collar working world and, maaaaan, just let the wind take us wherever it might, but I can’t pay my mortgage with good wishes and good karma.
Brightblack Morning Light – a duo comprised of a couple of hippies (Rachel Hughes and Nathan Shineywater) – should bug the piss out of me, all freewheelin’ and acid trippin’ and stuff but they are far removed from any Woodstock revival sound. Simply put and put simply, BBML’s forthcoming release, which I’m sure they’d prefer you buy on vinyl but sounds just fine as MP3s, Motion to Rejoin (to rejoin what? society? the tax paying nation?) is hands down one of the best releases I’ve heard in 2008 and I’ve only listened all the way through twice. On first listen, I wasn’t entirely even sure this was BBML, I thought somebody had slipped a new Spiritualized CD onto my iPod and had tagged the MP3s incorrectly. Motion to Rejoin, as it is, is a better Spiritualized release than Jason Pierce’s 2008 release, Songs in A&E.
The druggy, trippy, swimming through space sound that Spiritualized perfected so early in their post-Spacemen 3 career, along with the soul touch that was added on later recordings, comes through loud and clear on Motion to Rejoin. And it’s not just a one or two song anomaly, the space-rock spirituals are performed on all 49 minutes of this 9 track CD (do the math – there are a few 7, 8, and 9 minute slowburning jams spread throughout). It’s not hard to get lost in the slumbering organ playing, the atmospheric vocals, and steady maraca shaking (“Gathered Years” is like a funeral dirge in the middle of the desert). One song burns into the next, the tempo rarely changes, the tone of vocals remains a constant and the 49 minutes at times feels like 5 and at other times feels like 49 days, depending on the state of mind you’re in.
By no means am I advocating drug use, but it seems like this one will serve as the hypnotic soundtrack to those burnout incoming college freshman with long hair and dirty moustaches that live 14 to a 3-bedroom off-campus house and have plenty of vintage black light posters to hang in the cavernous basement.
“Hologram Buffalo” is the freebie track that BBML’s label (Matador) wants you to sample before committing to a purchase and it’s as good as any of a place to start on Motion to Rejoin. There is no bait and switch – “we’ll give you the catchy single and then you’ll buy 11 additional tracks of boring, mundane not-ready-for-primetime rock”. What you hear in this 5 minutes and 18 seconds is what you’ll hear on the other 44 minutes. So get to downloading, listening, purchasing ($10 for the CD; $12 for the LP).
DOWNLOAD: “Hologram Buffalo”
October and November tour dates after the jump.