Fovea Hex: Allure
Die Stadt

Andrew Liles & Fovea Hex: Gone Every Evening
Die Stadt

Armed with what must be one of the most impressive rolodexes around, Clodagh Simonds returns with Allure, the third and final installment in Fovea Hex's Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent series. As sumptuous in sound and design as the first two chapters, Allure boasts a line-up that includes Colin Potter, Percy Jones, Michael Begg, and others. The twenty-five-minute EP begins with the eleven-minute title song, a paean to romantic surrender wherein Simonds and Laura Sheehan wrap their haunting voices around ponderous drone melodies; the song's long enough to sustain two sections: the opening vocal half in an arrangement of harmonium, zither, and strings; the second a windswept setting that positions the treated guitars of Steven Wilson (Bass Communion/Porcupine Tree) front and center. That meditative opening segues uninterruptedly into the even more dramatic “Long Distance” where Simonds' emotive delivery intensifies the sense of desperate longing (“I'm like a fish who's breathing sand”); the song's enhanced by the presence of Robert Fripp who subtly lends his signature guitar sound to the song's second half. “Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent” ends the set evocatively with a slow-motion instrumental meditation of twilight character. Par for the Die Stadt course, the release's presentation is gorgeous, and it's worth noting that the entire series is available in an equally splendid box set that holds all three parts in the series.

The care Die Stadt lavishes on its output is even more evident in Gone Every Evening, a seven-inch vinyl single release by Andrew Liles and Fovea Hex that arrives in a gatefold cover with printed inner sleeve; probably never before have eight minutes of music been presented so lavishly. Collaborative pieces performed by Andrew Liles (credited with “shampoo & set”), Simonds (singing, harmonium, and “sonic wash”), Fabrizio Palumbo (narration), and, as before, Laura Sheeran (vocals), and Michael Begg (“ambient tinting”), the two songs are almost over before they've begun. Simonds' pure voice calls out over a delicate piano-and-harmonium drone in “Every Evening,” a plaintive ballad that's as reflective in sonic spirit as its lyrics suggest (“Fade the days out / Only evenings bring me something I'll remember”). On the B side's anguished meditation “Gone,” Simonds and Sheeran become a questioning Greek chorus (“Well well well / Nobody can tell / Why why o' why / Nobody knows”) alternating with Palumbo's recitation.

June 2008