|Falling from Grace|
Strata Florida — Falling from Grace (25/11/2016) ⦿► Povznášející, téměř duchovní high je drze generován mírnou svůdností, tož ideální tonikum pro čištění životních neduhů. Strata Florida are Louise Trehy (ex~Swallow 4AD) and Peter Pavli (High Tide, Robert Calvert, Third Ear Band, Annette Peacock). ⦿► Louise returned to music after a 20 year hibernation after joining her local choir where she met Pavli. They released their first LP ‘Made of Stars’ (Saint Marie Records, USA) which was described as “...a full~throttle, Spectorish wall of sound pumped up to about 15.”
⦿► Trehy reveals, “With this album, lyrically I wanted to write songs that were outside of my own personal experience, although in the end I realised they were all self~reflections on love, loss and, time passing. Musically, we wanted to explore the possibility of creating a dense sonic atmosphere for each song, without relying on guitar distortion that was so prominent in Made of Stars.”
⦿► Trehy explains, “We introduced elements such as synths, mandolin, and cello, coupled with Bossa Nova and electronic beats here and there. Vocally I experimented with multi~tracking and layering, sometimes with up to eight different vocal lines on the same track. The whole album is underpinned by heavy tremolo and melodic bass that has come to define our sound.”
Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, UK
Album release: 25/11/2016
Record Label: Saint Marie Records
Genre: Dream Pop, Indie, Shoegaze
1. Caroline (SF mix) 5:18
2. Emily Bronte 4:27
3. Vital Signs 4:01
4. Frozen 3:34
5. Lost in Space 3:51
6. Honey 4:41
7. Falling (SF mix) 5:33
8. Don’t Give Up On Me 6:08
♠ Louise Trehy: vocals, rhythm guitar, lyrics
♠ Peter Pavli: guitar, bass, synth, percussion
♠ Mixed and mastered by Charlie Nieland
♠ Caroline and Falling mixed by the band, mastered by Charlie Nieland
♠ Cover image: Joy and Sorrow 12” tondo, oil on copper, 2011 by Carrie Ann Baade
♠ Layout and design by Paul Fellowes
♠ Published by Cherry Red Songs
⦿► “With this album, lyrically I wanted to write songs that were outside of my own personal experience, although in the end I realised they were all self~reflections on love, loss and time passing. Musically, we wanted to explore the possibility of creating a dense sonic atmosphere for each song, without relying on guitar distortion that was so prominent in ‘Made of Stars’. We introduced elements such as synths, mandolin and cello, coupled with Bossa Nova and electronic beats here and there. Vocally I experimented with multi tracking and layering~sometimes with up to eight different vocal lines on the same track. The whole album is underpinned by heavy tremolo and melodic bass that has come to define our sound”.
Del Chaney, Score: 4
⦿► In a blissful array of stunning instrumentation the opening bars of ‘Caroline’ breathe shimmering frequencies out into the musical ether with delicious aplomb. Louise Trehy’s ethereal vocalisations float effortlessly on a wave of dreamy reverberation as the swirling guitar track and the repetitious sequenced percussion collectively instil a surreal kind of calmness to proceedings. Up next, ‘Vital Signs’ pulses into audible range on sequenced synth swells and tremulous guitar squall. Again, the haunting tones of Trehy are ever present as they swirl and meld into a cascading chorus break, deftly underscored by some fascinating layered guitar work, the bleeps & whirr’s of electronic atmospherics and sparse percussive hits. ‘Emily Bronte’ fizzes into earshot on an post-punk inspired bass line & luscious synth swells. The metronomic drum track takes up a kind of holding pattern, like a musical anchor, as all around it soars into the ether on wave after wave of beautifully golden sonic frequencies that are drenched in blissful reverb. A stunningly refreshing track indeed.
⦿► Up next, ‘Frozen’ is filled with boundless energy, allowing it’s woozy guitars to hold court and to gracefully shimmer as sparse sequenced percussive hits and throbbing bass frequencies act like bedrock to support those refreshing vocalisations. ‘Lost In Space’ trembles as it’s guitars jangle and shake on a steadying drum pattern that collectively builds with each progression until eventually breaking down into it’s cascading synth filled finale whilst the brilliant ‘Honey’ unfurls it’s sonic tendrils and transforms itself into a musical mash up between The Cure & Cocteau Twins. ‘Honey’ is a stunning track, deliciously filled with soaring instrumentation and blissfully translucent vocal lines.
⦿► The albums penultimate track is by far the heaviest on the entire release. Tremulous guitars and melodious bass lines sit atop a steadying drum pattern as Louise’s otherworldly vocalisations pulse from a different sonic plane than ours. Like a ghostly apparition the brilliant ‘Falling’ instils a surreal calmness as it works through it’s sonic repetitions and on into its grand finale. The albums closing piece is a brilliant slice of modern day post–punk. ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ shudders on a driving bass line as swirling vocals and snaking lead guitar licks circumnavigate that repetitious percussive pattern. Underscored with electronic atmospherics and subtle synth swells ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ is an absolute triumph and quite possibly my favourite track on this entire release.
⦿► There’s an air of invincibility surrounding Strata Florida’s music that is both enthralling and addictive all at once. Louise Trehy draws her listeners into every single track with her distinctive ethereal vocal style whilst instrumentally the band create well though out, layered soundscapes that act as a sonic conduit to deliver dreamy shoegaze & post–punk inspired sound.
⦿► Recommended! 4/5
Jeff Penczak, Hodnocení: 9
⦿► Louise Trehy was once half of UK dreampop/shoegaze band Swallow who released their debut album Blow in 1992 on the eminent 4AD label. Louise walked away from music and left London for a self sufficient life in rural Wales after the band broke up in 1994. Years later, she borrowed a 4 track recorder to learn a harmony part after joining a local alternative choir. She immediately fell in love with the process of recording music again, and recorded a handful of songs, learning to play electric guitar along the way. She was eager to recruit other musicians to speed up the process, as after an eighteen year gap, ideas were bursting out of her.
⦿► Having seen Peter Pavli play viola at a pop up gig in a friend’s living room, she asked if he would be interested in playing on some of her songs. Unknown to her at the time, Pavli was primarily a bass player and had played in experimental rock bands and recorded with Robert Calvert, Annette Peacock and many others. Although Louise’s recordings were very basic, it was clear to Pavli that ‘something very interesting was going on with her songwriting, her use of vocal effects was intriguing and on top of that her guitar sound was heavier than Hawkwind’s which appealed to me enormously’.
⦿► The pair began recording together in 2012, experimenting with DIY recording techniques along the way. ‘Pavli ensured the songs were recorded on a solid musical foundation and embraced things like my odd major minor guitar tunings. Also, I hadn’t considered using bass guitar which was never a feature of Swallow’s music, but I couldn’t resist his bass lines which were very melodic and reminded me of Kate Bush’s music. These songs are darker and grittier than my work with Swallow, but I think somehow dreamier.’ They named themselves Strata Florida (meaning valley of the river of flowers) after a local 12th century Cistercian abbey.
Website: http://www.stratafloridaband.com/index.html // Interview by Preston Maddox: http://whenthesunhitsblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/wtsh-interviews-louise-trehy-of-strata.html
|Falling from Grace|