Six Organs of Admittance - The Sun Awakens
The Six Organs Of Admittance inhabit a weird and wonderful world that has escaped most peoples attention. Quietly producing post-folk music with infusions of rock, country and, at times, post-rock drones, it's an ambitious project that only broke through into my conscious with last years beautiful School of the Flower; a schism of an album, bending from light to dark and touching folk, country and rock influences on it's musical trajectory.
The Sun Awakens is a very different affair. From just looking at the front cover you could guess that it might be a little darker in nature. There's an overall feeling of dark verses light; a battle that's waged during dawn when the last remnants of the night are fighting off the first rays of sunlight. The songs have a more folk feel to them and the opening half of the record is pretty much stripped down for the occasional electric guitar, adding weight to such songs as Black Wall which begins with almost Western acoustic leanings that builds to a crescendo of fuzzed up guitars, Chasny's vocals drifting just above the melody. Most of the songs are instrumentals here, vocals are kept to a very bare minimum and it feels all the fresher for it, a soundtrack to a perverse art oddity of a film. The Desert Is A Circle could almost be a score to a modern Western, so much so in fact that I can't help but feel that this is what Calexico might sound like if they'd listened to the darker side of life.
The second half of the record is taken up with one composition; the drone epic The River of Transfiguration. This just builds and builds through gentle strums, druid-esque chanting and echoing guitar lines. It's truly a unique piece of music and, though it might sound boring and repetitive, it isn't; there's always something just about to happen just round the corner. Instruments are brought in, faded out and cross-checked but in a ponderous, delicate and contrived manner that keeps you sucked in and mesmerised.
This is a dark, brooding and beautiful collection of music. It explores the boundaries of music in a way that you can't help but feel as though it's a giant beast thats stretching and flexing it's muscles and in doing so challenging ideas and preconceptions about how music should be made.