This year started out with a beautiful, tender album by Matthew Rolin, and he continues to stun with his duo recordings with Jen Powers. Anchored by Rolin’s circular guitar work, and fleshed out with the dulcimer work of Powers, the album cascades in sheets of shimmer. The two create a language of languid ripples that give the impression of moving through wet caves filled with light reflected off of water. The damp coolness lives inside the core of their eponymous LP, tempered slightly by the sawing midsection of “Catarwauls,” but even this plays into the overarching feeling of reverberating light and sound. The culmination is a sidelong stunner topping out at just under eighteen minutes that lets both artists unfurl their true prowess. The piece grows slowly, peaking out from over the horizon like the apt cover painting. As it takes shape the song opens itself to the listener, increasing its crystalline glow with each passing minute.
Up until now the pair has kept their output largely to live recordings, but a couple of tapes have slipped out on Athens label Garden Portal, both as a duo and alongside Jayson Gerycz (Cloud Nothings) on percussion. These recordings beg for more from the duo, and here’s hoping that this is the start of a fertile relationship with the Northeast’s best, Feeding Tube. Seems like quite a few are in need of something to bolster quiet contemplation these days, and while the impetus for these tracks may not have been meant for quite these times, its certainly appreciated.
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