- by Jim Harris Rating:10 Release Date:2016-01-22 Label: Ba Da Bing!
When I first noticed the title of this album by Cross Record I thought it read wasabi and I immediately assumed this would be a hot release, jamming, etc. Then when I uncrossed my eyes I noticed the word was Wabi-Sabi, which all of us Buddhist Monks know is a world view that means impermanence, imperfection, and incompletion (Which explains many of my sentences when I write music reviews…).
Regardless Cross Record, with an unconsciously beautiful-voiced lead singer, Emily Cross, and her sound engineer and collaborator husband Dan Duszynski, have produced a gorgeous collage of angular, sometimes loud and intense bursts, and other times quiet acoustic flourishes that add up to a powerful new album.
The album opens with a predictably theatrical (Emily Cross is a visual artist as well) ‘The Curtains Part’ that is a discordant combination of all sorts of sounds and effects as you are introduced to one of the more powerful new voices out there. Regardless of the strange and beautiful post rock soundscapes that saturate Emily’s songs, her voice, soft and loud, sometimes intense and sometimes fragile, is so beautiful and strong that it elevates each and every track.
This album immediately brings to mind any number of 4AD artists from the mid OOs who also strived to merge art with music into the appropriate collages and execution (Think early Blonde Redhead with Mad Max instruments instead of slick synths) but Emily simply has a voice and creative vision that carries every track better than any I have heard for a while.
It’s not all noise and voice however, as on such tracks as ‘Steady Waves,’ ‘Basket,’ and ‘Wasp In A Jar,’ where there are elements of almost pop sensibilities that make the album even more intriguing. The way certain tracks build slowly and then explode, and sometimes switch from noise to steady acoustics add an incredible depth and power to the tracks.
Cross Record is one of the more enjoyable and creative albums I have heard in a long time. It will be interesting to see where Emily takes us next time.
This is a great album. Steady Waves is one of my favourite tracks.