News / / 13.12.12





Released in the US earlier this year, now given a UK reissue by Domino, the title of this record succinctly informs us of what is to be found within; Ekstasis is the Greek root of the word ‘ecstasy’. The artist’s predilection for aesthetic classicism is apparent in her lyrical references, if not her music; a Greek tragedy here, some Roman mythological etymology there. Her method of construction recalls that of tapestry, lines of undulating synths, strings and vocals interweaving as a solid, but defiantly hazy whole. Musically, signifiers include John Maus at his most plaintive, the hushed cello compositions of Arthur Russell, Grouper’s woodsy dream-drone or even elements of John Foxx’s soundtrack work as Nation 12. Our Sorrows and In the Same Room are particularly gorgeous, sustaining atmospheres of disconnected, illusory melancholia in which melodies drift in and out of ebbing drones and chattering keys, like the aural equivalent of your eyes adjusting to a gloaming light. They’re the record’s strongest tracks, and that’s no small praise. There’s a disconcerting, underlying modernity prevalent in the thick fug of somnambulant retro-fantasy. Make no mistake, this is seriously chimerical stuff, and Ekstasis is one of the most idiosyncratic, beguiling and woozily beautiful albums of the year.


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Words: Tom Howells