Review of Snowmelt [12k2052]

Ethereal (FR)

Continuing, eleven years later, their exploration of Australia, Seaworthy and Matt Rösner pass from two lakes in the south-west of the island-state to the highest point of the country, located between Melbourne and Canberra. As in Two Lakes, Snowmelt intersects field recordings and other sounds captured on location with dreamy guitars, while the Australians’ album titles and visuals also put the listener on the path, with their snowy references. Thus put in condition, the latter can slip advantageously into these forty minutes, lulled by the interlacing of six-strings and the rustlings of nature.

While the general context (snow, altitude) could have suggested the absence of fauna and the glaciation of the waters, the chirping of birds and the sounds of the river are regularly heard, concrete manifestations of global warming that Snowmelt also wishes to document. In this respect, it would have, in places, been expected that the pieces would stretch a little more, generating a bit of frustration when they stop after four or five minutes.

Impeccably mastering the pensive ramblings (on Spencer Creek Pt. 1, for example), the two musicians do not want to limit themselves to this register and know how to introduce rougher elements, like the quickly struck cymbal intervening at the end of Rennix Heath or the tappings of Charlotte’s Pass Pt. 1. Along the same lines, the footsteps in the snow, caught on the spot on Saw Creek, participate, in turn, in this search for contributions contrasting with the silky character of Seaworthy’s guitar. Now, without difficulty, an equal level of quality in each of these two veins, the Australians sign a very good album, a nice complement (and even better) to their first effort of 2010.

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