7 out of 10
Find it here.
Find it here.
Anyone who has ever heard the sparse, meditative music of Tiny Vipers' Jesy Fortino and Grouper's Liz Harris is quite aware of the ineffable intimacy present in all of their works. Despite the fact that almost everyone of their songs circle around similar notions of nature's vastness, the true allure of their crafts is that they also read like the musings of a lost soul. The misty soundscapes they paint for us are like depictions of distant memories, fading further and further into oblivion. You can always tell that at the core of their art is a need to remember, to find themselves in this crazy world.
On 'Foreign Body', Fortino and Harris pair up their similar visions for the first time under the alias, "Mirrorring". The album's opener, “Fell Sound,” begins with Grouper's empty expanse of silence transporting us to the calm, still waters of some far off lake. But softly and slowly, ripples begins to form in these dead waters, as Harris's transparent vocals and Fortino's lulling guitar gently move over us. These ripples continue to take on various shapes and forms throughout the album, sculpting for our ears delicate studies of rhythm, melody, and pink noise. Guitars grace us with wistful lullabies. Startling vocals sing songs of lost places and lost times: “Places and towns/ They're part of us for sure.” We witness everything from the cathartic buildup of “Mine” to the whirling disintegration of “Cliffs.”
On the closing track, “Mirror of Our Sleeping,” the haunting specter of Harris' Wurlitzer returns. Notes crawl and unravel in a hypnotic, circular fashion, forming one of the most charming melodies I have ever heard from either of these women. The song, however, also showcases the biggest weakness of Foreign Body. The album may be a staggering symbiosis of two artists' visions, but I can't help feeling that there is little here to offer any new insight into either artist. Though I guess at the end of the day, beautiful music is beautiful music. And this is one of the most enchanting, reflective, and stimulating collaborations I've heard in quite a while. Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: Silent From Above, Cliffs, Mirror of Our Sleeping