Breaking away from their work with Debacle Records, West Coast duo/couple L.A. Lungs release an ominous air into the new batch of Eiderdown releases. The pair’s work is methodical and measured — their sounds blend into the background like a good score. Said score seems to either soundtrack a quiet breakdown or the dark voyeurism into one’s own soul. On Magishishan! the hiss becomes a character unto itself, watching the watcher in the band’s narrative. The band remains masterful in their use of slow, menacing bass, letting the anxiety build under nail bitten keys that squirm and shift slowly on their heels. The album’s certainly not ambient for the relaxed soul, though thankfully its not synth for horror fans and Netflix cue builders either.
Their synth strain is something else. It’s anguished, on edge, and still somehow detached as well. There’s a feeling that terrible things might happen, and soon, but the feeling remains of watching from ten feet above even if you’re at the center of the maelstrom. Now this all sets the album up to be uncomfortable, which in a very real way it is, but its also able to burrow under the skin and find a home next to your own insecurities like an auditory lichen. As the record crests into the midsection, it feels like some sort of solace may be at hand, but as they creep towards a close the walls become tight and the air acrid. There’s no escaping “The Distant Light.” The final chapter feels like a gorgeous comedown. It couldn’t be called peace after what’s ensued on the rest of the album, but its a mixed feeling of relief and trepidation that lets a cold wind blow across the final moments.
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