NoOne comes to the NoCity on purpose. Most commonly there is a mishap. Storms are common in the region, unleashing heavy, glycerin rains that flood the gutters & erase boundaries; transitions become easy, accidental even. Once arrived, the sodden traveler is presented with many diversions.
“What is the matter?”
In the NoCity the matter is nigh always printed. Leaves of unfinished & forgotten comics blow up & down the streets. In the NoCity they take milk with their serial.
Adventure strips are favored most mornings. Buckets are filled with the excess rain wrung out from favored papers. That regional rain causes the inks to bleed profusely, engendering rampant excesses of surrealism in the most stoic of strips. The misunderstandings can be very exciting.
On Wednesday, the winds blow gusts of new pages. On Wednesday, the avid inhabitants of the NoCity run against the winds, catching those new pages on their faces. Whole pamphlets clog the drains, clog throats. Come Sunday, the NoCity has sleepy zephyrs of humor strips & reprints of political gags. & corpses.
“What is the matter?”
The sodden traveler, his spine bent with experience, sinks between the covers.
From the opening wash of tactile, dreaming noise, ‘Strands of Golden Light’, Seirom’s new album 1973 displays a feverish devotion to fostering ecstasy & panic in the listener. It’s a tide coming in swiftly, swallowing you, hitting the shore with a heart-stopping crash, sending spray up into hazy sunlit air. From there it’s all gasping breaths. ‘Never So Lost’, the second track on the two-disc album, delivers on the ‘black metal shoe gaze’ box quote offering mated portions of Wolves In The Throne Room & Cocteau Twins running wild. Further in, the title track, rapturously conjured in ragged synths & low mixed drums, bleeds out a voice sample of Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton’s poem ‘I Do Not Love Thee’, as if even in this explosively beautiful summoning of 1973 still the ache to reach further back into myth & memory is unquenchable.
Whole swaths of the album are given over the manifestation of scouring, blissful noise – the exultant ‘Change’ crescendos its crescendos. Though tracks like ‘At Night’ punctuate by segueing into the ambience of animals & disc 2 opens with a gently rising whorl of choral in ‘Disappear’. There are whispers & hidden voices; hazed metronomic samples often offering eerie platitudes that read like offerings from The Arborea Institute. But throughout & altogether, there is just so much sound. It is genuinely sweeping & gorgeous.
Near the end, ‘For Black Hearts’, stitched with the sound of crickets, reverberates its way into a spasm, unfolding around a whisper that suddenly & frighteningly attains a direct intimacy heard nowhere else on the album. Thus rattled, we are left with only the invitation to ‘Experience the Light’, cannily placed at the finish.
1973 is available now from Aurora Borealis.