|Matt Kivel — Double Exposure (2013)|
Matt Kivel — Double Exposure
Location: Los Angeles, California
Album release: July 16, 2013
Format: Cassette, Album, Limited Edition, Numbered
Record Label: Olde English Spelling Bee / Burger (BRGR557)
A1 Tetro 3:30
A2 Eleison 2:42
A3 Rainbow Trout 4:47
A4 Kes 3:33
A5 Double Exposure 4:03
B1 White Rice 4:20
B2 Whip 2:54
B3 Tetra 2:00
B4 All Will Be Well 2:51
B5 Days Of Heaven 4:32
• Artwork [Cover Painting] — Max Markowitz
• Mixed By, Mastered By — Paul Oldham
• Photography By — Olivia Hemaratanatorn
• Producer, Engineer — Mark Nieto
• Written-By — Matt Kivel
• 150 cassettes pressed and numbered!
• ATMOSPHERIC PSYCH FOLK FROM MATT KIVEL OF SLEEPING BAGS!!!
By Jayson Greene; October 30, 2013; Rating: 8.0
• Matt Kivel’s Double Exposure is a small masterpiece of humble virtues: warm, patient, calm. It is beautifully, pristinely recorded, finely wrought; its ten songs represent some of the least insistent music you will be spellbound by all year.
• Kivel’s close-miked acoustic guitar strums close to your ear, but everything above it, from Kivel’s high, frail falsetto to the washes of electronics that occasionally stop the action, is constantly threatening to dissipate. Kivel wrote and recorded it over the last two years, redirecting his creative efforts away from the band Gap Dream in favor of this sort of acoustic music — not quite shapely or distinct enough to be folk, too temporally detached to be grouped near rock — that is simply music we murmur to ourselves. Daily music.
• Nick Drake is an obvious comparison point, and a strong one. Like Drake, Kivel doesn’t sweat comprehension in his mumbled, blurred lyrics, sharp phrases of which only swim occasionally to the surface: “You said all these boys will do is fuck/ Take away their cocks and they dry up,” he sings, startlingly, on the title track. With a lyric sheet, the darkly personal nature of the music swims into focus. “Pleasure to me/ Wishing I was dead,” he croons on “Tetro.” The phrase “When I’m dead” is one of the only phrases in “Eleison.”
• There is a frightening amount of death in the record, in fact. But Kivel doesn’t seem or sound frightened by it himself — simply drawn toward it, compelled to examine it. The lullaby of “Rainbow Trout,” with its refrain of “sweet babe, don’t cry,” turns on some ghastly imagery: “As the body/ shook with pain/ It was thrown again and again/ Up against the fissured wall/ Covered in the bile of it’s maw.” And on “Whip,” he sings gently, clearly, “I want to kill myself.” The effect is unsettling precisely because you’re unsure how unsettled to be — the song appears to be told from the perspective of a whipped horse, and the phrase is sung so lightly, over an ascending finger-picked line, that the overwhelming emotional message is one of contentment, serenity.
• Mark Nieto produced Double Exposure, and his work is strong enough to serve as a supporting character. (Paul Oldham mixed and mastered the album). Atmosphere is a fragile strength, the first quality to disappear when pressed, but it blossoms in headphones, and it’s really in this setting that you should hear Double Exposure. The muffled boom of the bass drum on “White Rice”, the pearly piano notes, ringing down a long hallway in “Rainbow Trout”, the humming — insect looping guitars that swarm through “All Will Be Well”, the small bursts of static at the edges of “Days of Heaven” — each touch registers like an event within the hallowed space that Kivel creates. The album doesn’t so much grow on you as accrete, like daytime shadow creeping across the room. It’s been seven months since I first tried to puzzle out Double Exposure, and it keeps eluding me. I don’t know when I’ll want to stop trying, but not soon. (http://pitchfork.com/)
|Matt Kivel — Double Exposure (2013)|