Album Review

Spires That in the Sunset Rise – “Ancient Patience Wills It Again Part II” – [Hairy Spider Legs]

Thurston Hunger   5/11/2013   A Library, CD

Spires That in the Sunset Rise
“Ancient Patience Wills It Again Part II”
It is hard for me to understate how much I am floored
by this release (the Spires’ sixth, including a companion
Part I which KFJC yet lacks). This Decatur, Illinois
group is down to just two members, Kathleen Baird and
Taralie Peterson, but they create a mesmerizingly full
sound. Every track summons a steady, eerie beauty.
Lots of harmonium and what haunts me of nyckleharp.
Strings ripple through tracks like “Smoke” (electric)
and Revella (acoustic). Call it folk I guess, as it
has a timelessness that would appeal across the past
couple milennia. You could tell me Baird and Peterson
are part of a Civil War women’s infantry, singing cold
songs in colder forts and I’d believe it. But there’s
elements of Nico and Richard Youngs that I think will
open this release up to any DJ, who has ever looked out
a window for an eternity while a song played over and
over. The songs shift, subtly, but the mood lingers,
slowly consistent, a paradoxical conconction of bitterness
and solace. “Ours Is No The Only Society” takes a 1950’s
film or cassette documentary, loops and twists it before
the harmonium wall hovers in with singing saw, or is it
a yodeling ghost. I’ve dug their earlier Secret Eye work,
but something about this release overpowers me. I wind up
flat on the floor (so risky to listen to while driving).
Please lie down next to me and listen….

-Thurston Hunger

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