||Lake Tear of the Clouds (13 July 2018)
Cornelia Murr — Lake Tear of the Clouds (13 July 2018)★Δ★ A glorious, meditative debut LP.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Recording Location: The Tannery
Album release: 13 July 2018
Record Label: Autumn Tone
1 Different This Time 3:56
2 Tokyo Kyoto 4:09
3 Man on My Mind 3:46
4 Cicada 4:04
5 Who Am I to Tell You 3:25
6 Billions 3:25
7 I Have a Woman Inside My Soul 5:17
8 You Got Me 3:59
℗ 2018 Autumn Tone
By Timmy Michalik / 04 JULY 2018, 09:44 BST / SCORE: 8
★Δ★ Cornelia Murr’s debut studio album is a gracious meditation on self~induced isolation. Murr’s spectral soundscapes are chilling and otherworldly, and Lake Tear of the Clouds feels long overdue in a world of overly produced nonsense.
★Δ★ Lake Tear of the Clouds is the debut studio album from Cornelia Murr, yet everything about Lake Tear of the Clouds points towards expertise, patience, and creative profusion. It’s an album of comfort, fitting like an old, weathered baseball mitt from the first rotation of mellotron notes. Murr’s vocal delivery is assured and steady, flowing gracefully as each composition unfolds and expands around her gentle whispers. Yet, Murr’s vocal opulence, a stunning presence itself, is in no way the cynosure of Lake Tear of the Clouds — it’s the seamless production and arrangements found throughout.
★Δ★ Largely produced by My Morning Jacket leader Jim James, Lake Tear of the Clouds has his fingerprints all over it. Much of Lake Tear of the Clouds bears similarities to James’ 2016 solo project Eternally Even. These moments are clear and pronounced on tracks “Who Am I To Tell You” and “Cicada,” the latter showcasing a jazzier side of Burr’s artistic approach, and the former representing James’ old school~meets new school modus operandi, in which James fuses low fidelity production with clean, tight, and hyper~produced arrangements. Every detail found throughout Lake Tear of the Clouds represents this approach, mythologizing Burr as a storied entity in the process.
★Δ★ The majority of Burr’s original compositions are velvety and mellow, pulsating and steaming along to create a work of art that is neatly pieced together — every whistle, bass line, and reverberated background holler as vital to the mix as Burr’s vocals themselves. Perhaps Murr’s most charming and ambitious moment, though, is her rendition of Yoko Ono’s feminist anthem “I Have A Woman Inside My Soul,” stripping the original down and building it back up to create and affirm Burr’s artistic clarity and brilliance. The influence of Ono’s 1973 studio album Approximately Infinite Universe is heavily felt throughout Lake Tear of the Clouds, from the color scheme of both album covers to the inward sense of isolation and remorse found on both.
★Δ★ Lake Tear of the Clouds’ closing statement, “You Got Me,” is a ghostly, finger~picked siren call, and Burr’s vocals begin to fade, sounding farther in the distance, while each second passes, as if the entirety of Lake Tear of the Clouds was just a fever dream, slipping away as soon as you begin to gain consciousness. That’s the beauty of Lake Tear of the Clouds, though — the moment you think you’ve had enough, it’s over with, leaving behind a trail of desire to press play, over and over again.
★Δ★ On her debut album Lake Tear of the Clouds, Los Angeles~based singer~songwriter Cornelia Murr taps into the bucolic spirit of the Hudson Valley in upper New York State. Working with producer Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Murr conjures a hazy blend of folk and cosmic soul music, her voice floating over ghostly soundscapes that bring to mind the fantasias of Broadcast, Stereolab’s most pastoral moments, and the spooky romance of Beach House.
★Δ★ Murr was born in London and resides in California as a dual citizen, but spent much of her childhood moving through the United States, from Colorado to Massachusetts, California to New York City and upstate New York. It’s the latter locale that most informs the spiritual geography of the album, which invokes the cyclical journey of water from the highest point in the Adirondack Mountains to the valley below and out to sea. Like that water, Murr’s voice flows with a liquid grace.
★Δ★ Though she’s collaborated with other musicians, including Elvis Perkins, appearing on his 2015 LP I Aubade, and songwriter/actress Lola Kirke (Mozart in the Jungle), Murr has long written and recorded her own compositions. While in the past she brought her songs to life via obsessively detailed, harmony~laced demos recorded to her iPhone, the new album represents the fullest, and most public, expression of her songcraft.
★Δ★ Recorded primarily at Palomino Sound, the record showcases Murr on vocals, Omnichord, mellotron, pocket piano, electric/acoustic guitars, whistles, and percussion. She’s accompanied by contributions from James; piano and keys by Bo Koster of My Morning Jacket; Lola Kirke on vocals; Naomi Greene on vocals and electric harp. Bassist Shane McKillop and drummer Justin Flint, both of Amo Amo, comprise the rhythm section. Spiritual support, Murr notes, was provided by Palomino Sound studio dog Frita, who earns a special thanks in the liner notes alongside Kirke. Originally intended as a four~song EP, Murr found herself with a wealth of songs, many of which she’d been workshopping for years. Encouraged by James, whom she calls “the perfect producer,” Murr realized she had a full~length album on her hands.
★Δ★ Often sounding like she could be transmitting from some inter~dimensional sock hop or theTwin Peaks Roadhouse, Murr’s songs are transfixing and moving. From the Cocteau Twins~eque “Tokyo Kyoto” to the girl group evoking “Who Am I To Tell You” to the Old Weird American folk of closer “You Got Me,” Murr alchemizes personal experiences, reflecting on the need to claim personal space, and translating her inner reserve to listeners. Rounding out the album is a cover of Yoko Ono’s 1973 feminist anthem, “I Have a Woman Inside My Soul.”
★Δ★ Murr has long kept her songs close — shielding them from “roommates and lovers” — but Lake Tear of the Clouds represents her desire to no longer hide herself or her music away. Both intimate and psychedelic, the album explores womanhood and the personal revelations that accompany maturing into oneself. “I’ve spent so long/In a silent space scream/Now I’ve forgotten how it feels/To know someone’s listening,” Murr sings on “Billions.” But Lake Tear of the Clouds presents Murr’s voice as one well worth hearing.
||Lake Tear of the Clouds (13 July 2018)