Good Night & Good Morning: Good Night & Good Morning
Own Records

Good Night & Good Morning's self-titled release sounds like two members of a shoegaze outfit serenading themselves to sleep in the wee hours, long after the concert's done and with the bassist and drummer having departed for places unknown. Originally released in May 2009, the half-hour collection can be heard as a harbinger to what an untitled full-length currently in the works might end up sounding like. The peaceful and somnambulant style Champaign, Illinois duo Pat Elifritz and Ryan Brewer present in the release's five tracks came about as a reaction of sorts to the high-volume intensity favoured by the bands the duo had played in prior to forming Good Night & Good Morning. Laid down over six months in the basement of Elifritz's parents' home, the material draws the listener into the group's hermetic world and provides an intimate if brief glimpse into Good Night & Good Morning's universe. Hushed vocal murmurs appear alongside crystalline guitar shadings, keyboards, and shimmering vibraphones, with an occasional field recording seeping in at the music's edges. The occasional snarl of an electric guitar part threatens to turn the heat up (such as during “Wine,” for instance), but, generally speaking, the group's slow-burning songs remain at an appealing low level. Though the release in toto justifies one's attention, the go-to track is definitely “Wallflower,” not for its eight-minute length but for how additional sounds—a muted trumpet, the near-subliminal vocal presence of Abbi Rajasekhar, and the harp playing of Róisin Maguire—embellish the splendour of the group's vibes-and-guitars core.

February 2011