UTR136 | LP | 10 tracks | Buy
'Fashion Light' conjures up a brilliance from the first few sparks of the album, spinning dizzy dots of synth melody into a classy slice of avant-pop. Rolling live drums (courtesy of Shaun Gionis) and tuneful iridescence pan back and forth as Raven coolly intones "dark console, flashing lights, rigid stance, it's alright to go on and on this way." The song opening up a map of attractions, drawing connections together. 'Low Desk: High Shelf' follows in likewise sprightly mode. Glancing synths criss-cross, worthy of OMD, echoing off the straight-up beat, allowing Raven's collected vocal to stitch its haunted path: "see the face and feel your body sway, in voluntary walk, intoxicating view, take it home, a photograph, a file final form, a token for the shelf or wait..."
A floating kick drum sets off the shivery flurries of sound on 'Witness', featuring bristling electronic percussion from James Vinciguerra. 'The Installation' is a song about interacting with the dimensions of a new environment. Blossoming basslines and saxophone blushes sweep through its relaxed atmosphere. 'Tony Bandana' makes a break for it as a rock song, bestilled pauses and swirling breaks of beatpop psych however certainly shake up first impressions.
The Green Child acknowledge an interesting array of musical cues from New Musik via Sade to Hot Chocolate, the latter most keenly felt on the slinky groove behind 'Dreamcom'. Clockwork sequencing, drawbar organ amid bouncing guitar spirals and a lightness of vocal touch make for a potent potion. The duo cover 'Resurrection' by Canadian 60's popsmith Andy Kim later on the record, turning his orchestral 'hymn of searching' into a grandiose tower of overlapping drones, languid vocal reverb and strummed chords. Meanwhile, 'Health Farm' is awash with questing keyboard melodies, its notes speeding into each other like Boards Of Canada with the legato ramped up.
'Double Lines' draws this fascinating album to an end, seeping into the room like an apparition. It slowly gathers itself into pools of notes and a rubbery bassline, letting Raven's voice ebb and flow like a half-remembered desire book-ended in ambience. The Green Child have really climbed a ladder with 'Shimmering Basset', delivering a robust album of compelling melody, expanded vision and melancholic grandeur.
'Shimmering Basset' is due for release this October through Upset The Rhythm, accompanied by a spirited painting by Anna Savage on its cover.