Friday, October 21, 2011

A Winged Victory for the Sullen

(Erased Tapes / Kranky, 2011)

I've been neglecting posts on Forest Gospel for a little bit, for a variety of reasons which equate, in general, to busyness.  But in addition, some sense of exhaustion and, being in a wholly new and largely unfamiliar place, depression.  Life doing what life is best at: overwhelming.  Not that it has been all bad, but certainly difficult.  So I can feel for, in some sense, the emotional weight of what is happening on A Winged Victory for the Sullen.  Not that my troubles compare in any tangible sense to those of Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O'Halloran, composing in the wake of their dual divorces, but it is a very human experience, this loneliness, and one that Wiltsie and O'Halloran are both well suited for, musically speaking (Wiltzie being one-half of Stars of the Lid and O'Halloran having a history composing minor key piano phrases).  Another somewhat depressing layer to this story, though more of a side note, is that Wiltzie and O'Halloran met backstage during the what became the final European tour of Sparklehorse.  So, yes, this is sad, beautiful music.  However, there is also something majestic at work here, something revitalizing and magical.  It's been preying on my weak-spiritedness but unlike Elliott Smith, I'm rejuvenated in the aftermath.  Strengthened somehow.  Which really speaks to something quite dynamic about what is happening here.  To the aspects of victory (the duo's name being quite a wonderful representation of the music).  So, this is vital music.  Vital in the sense that loneliness is simply a part of the human experience, and it is rare that something captures that loneliness so elegantly then takes efforts to sew wings onto its back.  Truly gorgeous in every sense.

A Winged Victory For The Sullen (album teaser) by erasedtapes

1 comment:

Patrick? said...

Yes, yes. Like pretty much everything with a tie to Stars of the Lid, this album is fantastic. One of my favorites of the year.