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.
10/02/2008 The Tractor Tavern, Seattle
10/03/2008 The Helm Gallery, Tacoma
10/05/2008 Doug Fir Lounge, Portland
10/08/2008 Sam Bonds Garage, Eugene
10/10/2008 Humboldt Brews, Arcata
10/11/2008 Delta of Venus, Davis
10/14/2008 Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco
10/15/2008 Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco
10/16/2008 Starry Plough, Berkeley
10/18/2008 Historic Brookdale Lodge, Brookdale
10/20/2008 Casbah, San Diego
10/21/2008 Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa
11/05/2008 Hailey?s, Denton
11/06/2008 Club Deville, Austin
11/07/2008 Spanish Moon, Baton Rouge
11/08/2008 One Eyed Jacks, New Orleans
11/10/2008 Eyedrum, Atlanta
11/11/2008 Caledonia Lounge, Athens
11/12/2008 Grey Eagle Tavern, Asheville
11/13/2008 Local 506, Chapel Hill
11/14/2008 Talking Head, Baltimore
11/16/2008 BAR Nightclub, New Haven
11/17/2008 LPR, New York
11/18/2008 South Paw, Brooklyn
11/20/2008 Beachland Tavern, Cleveland
11/21/2008 Magic Stick, Detroit
11/22/2008 Hideout, Chicago
11/24/2008 Waiting Room, Omaha
And here’s a slideshow designed for substance-takers that Matador put together for “Hologram Buffalo”.