Thursday, September 2, 2010

Big Blood: Dead Songs

One of the more interesting aspects of psychedelic music in general is it's potential to both induce and narrate, in a sense, altered states of consciousness. This sensibility ranges from the druggy to the transcendental, the communal to the personal, the urban to the rural, the synthetic to the organic, the ecstatic to the reflective, much like the experience itself.

One thing that is often lacking from the whole range of psychedelic music, and in particular psych-folk, is a reflection on the psychedelic experience when the altered state has worn off, when the phenomenal world intrudes, when heartache and loneliness and feelings of uncertainty pervade. This authentic, often overlooked aspect for meaning beyond the mundane is something that pervades the new album Dead Songs by the due of Colleen Kinsella and Caleb Mulkerin,  known here as Big Blood.

The cracked and fragile qualities of psychedelia has its musical precursors to be sure; Syd Barrett, Skip Spence, and more recently Blithe Sons and some of the other Jewelled Antler Collective recordings  walked the shaky ground between melancholy and ecstasy. But Big Blood has captured something deeper, something that contains a real authentic longing, with shadows of joy, and the way making music can act as a container for feelings that can overwhelm. And then, before you know it, it's the music itself that makes you remember how to hope.

What is also wonderful is that while Big Blood work in somewhat a psych-folk accent, they don't forget their rock roots. There is great vocal work, particularly by Kinsella. She can go from raucous to folk-gospel with ease. This is one of those records that makes it impossible to think you are missing anything out in the mainstream of music.

--Listen to the track New Eyes
--Buy Dead Songs here


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