Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Textura review of The Hummingbird Dream

The Ghost of 29 Megacycles: The Hummingbird Dream
hellosQuare Recordings

For whatever reason, I'd thought before hearing it that The Ghost Of 29 Megacycles' The Hummingbird Dream might be a blistering, guitar-fueled meltdown of some kind, but the thirty-two-minute release, the Australian outfit's follow-up to its debut CD Love Via Paper Planes, turns out to be the complete opposite. Born from “sleepless nights, morning silence, and sadness,” the new release pairs a twenty-four-minute first part played entirely by Greg Taw using guitar, organ, and field recordings as sound sources with a shorter second part where Taw is joined by Jessyca Hutchins (vocals), Rupert Thomas (organ), and Rebecca Orchard (vocals).

The elegiac drone that is Part one generates a beautiful drifting character when its crystalline guitar figures stretch out interminably and its slivers and shadings flicker overtop the thick drone that the organ establishes underneath. The mood is becalmed yet blissed-out too, especially when the smoldering slow-burn of the electric guitar moves to the forefront. The late-inning appearance of bird sounds gives the track an early morning feel, which in turn suggests that what has come before could be read as an aural simulation of a somewhat restless sleep state. “The Hummingbird Dream (Part 2)” comes a bit closer to the shoegaze spirit I'd expected before hearing the recording but even here the music is pitched way down, and consequently the dream-like quality of the opening piece persists into the second albeit in different form. Electric guitar strums and hushed vocals lend it a haunting, song-like quality, while a brief vocal interlude courtesy of Rebecca Orchard points the music heavenward again. Call it dreamscaping for the lost and lonely.

January 2011

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