Emeralds – Solar Bridge
If you were writing about music that hit a certain psychedelic headspace in the mid aughts then it’s fair to say outside of perhaps Grouper, Emeralds was one of the dominant acts that constantly found their way onto the listen pile. The band was born out of a Midwest noise and synth pocket and they brought that rusted desperation to their works. They reflected back a wave of effusive serenity tinged with just enough edging anxiety to make them proper heirs to the German wave that crested years before. With tapes and CD-rs on a few low key outlets like Gneiss Things, Gods of Tundra, and Fag Tapes, the band had built a reputation if you knew where to look, but it was their first foray into LP on Dillowy’s Hanson Records that brought them to the attention of many of us. The record was a cavern of sound — inviting, dangerous, sensual, and sonorous. The band had honed their craft by this time and, after already becoming a bit renown in the live space, this release captured their dark magic for a wider audience.
The record was two sides, two tracks of Elliott and Hauschilt’s fogged synths and McGuire’s snaking, subtle guitar work. The release set them up for wider acclaim with releases on Ecstatic Peace and Editions Mego. They’d help create a whole new world of analog wonder only to all go their separate ways a few years later. This remains one of the best documents, along with Does it Look Like I’m Here?, and their eponymous LP in the years after. I honestly couldn’t have predicted a reissue of this one in 2022, but it looks like Ghostly has found it in their hearts to give Solar Bridge a new life on LP along with a previously unreleased track, “Photosphere” from the same time that’s available as a digital bonus. Just the first strains of both of these transport me to another time and life, and even if they’re not rooted in your own history, they can easily have the same effect.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.