Keeping on a pretty sterling run of late (Golden Brown, Channelers, Nimbulala) Inner Islands continues to tap into a sense of deeply layered calm that’s needed as the pot seems to boil over in every existential sense. This time members of Channelers, Skyminds, and Ashan combine under their own names for an album of improvisations that moves through the mind in waves. It’s an aqueous record that sometimes trickles through the mind in rivulets and other times dissipates into thick fog. No matter the medium, there are specters haunting every moment of the album — voices lost in the haze, reflections of memory lapping at synth strains, and the taste of nylon strings on the air.
Rosa’s vocals are wordless, but no less affecting for their lack of message. The emotions seep through the seams all the same. Enveloping and immediate, her voice filters through speakers and headphones with a translucence that’s dizzying. Behind her, synths streak the air, drones vibrate the neurons to life, and when its present, Sean’s guitar massages sadness from the air. While the overall aura is complimentary to Conrad’s work as Channelers, he and Rosa carve out their own opalescent existence with Wake, a fragile collection that holds us all as we delicately balance over the edge.
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