The Violet Hour: self-titled
It takes about 30 seconds to fall into it. The Violet Hour's assumed debut--it's noted as having been recorded in 2007 with no explanation for the delay--is one of those records that feels like a place, less a linear journey through songs than somewhere you recline for 40 minutes--like an Earth album, maybe. It's not repetitious or one-dimensional, but there's a consistency of moods and sounds that calls you in just to soak and drift in its autumnal currents. A pair of ringing, interlocking guitars--languid, wandering, sepia, here and there blooming/released into psychedelic burns--and a pair of smoky female voices twisting about and meeting in cloud scraping harmonies. That's about it.
Ah, but those 30 seconds, yes--a pair of steely guitar notes, mirrored slightly, bent slightly, and built up at just the right pace to make the music act like gravity. And then, the opener, "Peripheral Vision," tumbles down into a place that feels like a cross between a funhouse and a chapel. It's one of the quicker tunes, and one of a couple that have any sort of percussive accent. Fuzzy, crackling ride "XXXVI" closes the record out at similar pace--and burrows soul-deep on the back of a chilling three-part harmony featuring Celebration's David Bergander--but the five tracks in between, clocking between five minutes and nearly eight, take their own damn time. The biggest surprise--should its sheer loveliness be a surprise?--comes at the end, and the realization the rest of the world didn't stop with you.