lovesliescrushing: Girl Echo Suns Veils

Given that lovesliescrushing's Girl Echo Suns Veils is subtitled Rarities and Ephemera 1990-2000, one could be forgiven for thinking that the recording might sound like a document from an era now long past. Such a thought would be entirely off-base, however, as the seventeen short tracks collected on the release transcend time in the most convincing manner imaginable. At no time does Girl Echo Suns Veils sound like it is music of any other moment than right now. That's partially due to the timeless simplicity of the instrumental approach Scott Cortez and Melissa Arpin-Duimstra bring to the project: by coupling his epic sheets of guitar with her ethereal vocalizing, the two conjure immense, cloud-like formations that resist any attempt to root them in a specific time and place (even if, for the record, they were recorded in Michigan, Chicago, and the Arizona Desert in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 2000). The formula? Take a song fragment, melodic scrap, chord, or even single note and explode it into an entire song using a four-track porta-studio and do so without drums, bass, synthesizers, and keyboards. After the material was exhumed by Coretz from thelLovesliescrushing backlog, with some of it having appeared before and some of it unreleased, the guitarist reshaped it until it reached the form now heard on Girl Echo Suns Veils.

Obviously shoegaze (of the My Bloody Valentine variant) is a key part of the music's DNA, but lovesliescrushing eschews beat-based song structures and melodic hooks for a more abstract approach to ambient-drone sound sculpting. And though guitar is the main instrument, Cortez repeatedly transforms its sound using effects and processing until its loops swell into crushing but not unpleasant torrents of volcanic blur. The vocals, contributed by both Cortez and Arpin-Duimstra, generally appear back in the mix as more of a ghostly presence whose murmur is faintly glimpsed behind the front-line formation. Some tracks, such as “Feathermouth”and “Lips To Kiss,” explode in blast-like manner, with their barely contained energy unleashed in huge, rippling waves. A track such as “Deolah,” on the other hand, offers a surprisingly delicate respite from the attack heard elsewhere, while “Kittenmother” verges on ambient soundscaping of the symphonic kind. If anything, the album gravitates towards relatively quieter realms as it enters its final laps (though the closer, “Goldenfur,” does, admittedly, detonate midway through). In short, the group manages to spin a goodly number of variations on the basic theme, and consequently there's both unity and contrast. Generally speaking, much of Girl Echo Suns Veils sounds as if it could have been recorded in an immense cathedral, given the reverberant wall-of-sound that careens through a given piece. There's beauty in lovesliescrushing's noise.

November 2010