Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fuzzy Lights - Twin Feathers

Today, i bring you some more Fuzzy Lights, as glowingly referenced in yesterday's Wire Tapper post. As usual, i loved what i heard and wanted to know more. Hunted down a copy of their most recent record, Twin Feathers, released in Aug. on Little Red Rabbits Records.
Obscura, the track featured on the Wire Tapper starts thing off like an americana chamber ensemble, keening fiddle reels and bowed saws, apparently written on the fly after a late night's party. But they quickly take an abrupt right and morph into a dreamy, folk-rock band, for tracks Fallen Trees and Through Water. This seems to provide the roadmap for Twin Feathers; dreamy, folksy tunes interspersed with cinematic, instrumental mood pieces.
Fuzzy Lights, centered around husband and wife duo Xavier and Rachel Watkins and recently augmented to a 5 piece, have clearly absorbed a wide range of sounds and influences, and internalized them to make something unique and special. Obviously steeped in the sounds of traditional post-rock such as The Dirty Three and A Silver Mt. Zion, but equally indebted to British wyrdness like Fairport Convention and The Incredible String Band, and a healthy dose of classic Slo-Core like Yo La Tengo or Red House Painters, they take what is best from all those styles and make it serve their ends, avoiding cliche.
The best thing about this band, and drawing from such a broad pallette, is the wide range of moods, textures, and instrumentation it makes available. Hearing the interplay of viola and harmonium on Lucida, warmly recorded to cassette, is thrilling. The Museum Song, apparently improvised to accompany Chris Marker's film La Jetee, uses the viola's ability to tug heart-strings to masterful ability. You'd have to have a heart of stone, have to be the most jaded and cynical of hipsters, to not be moved by its beauty. The vocals are also wonderfully recorded, and, while the lyrics do not stand forth and proclaim themselves, i look forward to some intensive headphone research of this album, in the weeks to come.
Another reviewer claimed that every song built to a climactic wall of sound, and i disagree. Twin Feathers is not about bombast and fury, although it occasionally unleashes the storm. It is more about mood and ambience, creating a pastoral drift to explore and get lost in, like an early morning mist.

You can hear a mix that they recently did, for arctic circle, as well as a live set with some interviewage, over here: Arctic Circle Radio


  1. I'm checking this for sure. Cheers.

  2. Ever heard of Algarnas Tradgard? This is like a soothing version of that... Another cool discovery - I mean gift - from J's Heaven. My gratitude cannot be fully expressed with our limited vocabulary. Keep going. You're on the right track!