Thursday, 10 February 2011

Seven Feathers Rainwater And The 15 Magical Apples...

It was rather fortuitous that I was handed the new album by Seven Feathers Rainwater the same week that band member Taylor Christensen dropped us a line here to discuss 15 Apple Magicians (out on Moondial Records). The Salt Lake City band follow in the psych freak folk footsteps of the likes of early Animal Collective and Akron/Family, and this LP is the perfect showcase. I have to be honest - having listened to a couple of albums in the past fortnight that seem to have the sonic DNA of the aforementioned bands (plus an upcoming review of Akron/Family's newie), I found it hard to differentiate where the influences ended and Seven Feathers Rainwater began. Then I threw it on Monday evening - and it made sense. And it has made more sense, right up until the writing of this, where I cant imagine listening to anything else. It is that good.

Taylor himself describes Seven Feathers Rainwater's sound as "kind of a drone-loop-sample-synth-pop-tribal-LSD-stargazing thing" - which is apt, if unwieldy and elongated. The reverb, the sudden bursts of effects-drenched distorted guitar, the echoing vocals, all stretches to breaking point, but remains elastic enough sonically to rebound back in on itself and start afresh. There is also some real cosmic wanderings on tracks like 'Dandelion', whilst opener 'Indian Casino' washes over you in a dreamlike mist before exploding in a freak-folk melancholia replete with concussive blasts and weird harmonics. Hell, even 'There Is Still Here' has a Transformers-esque...err, transforming effect in there. Its a warped record, but a beautifully constructed one.

Furthermore, the collaborators that Seven Feathers Rainwater get are explanation enough of the themes inherent in the record. Stag Hare and Andy Czar of Jackie-O Motherfucker help to fill in some of the gaps...

What I love about it is its sense of place - I feel like I should be reading Carlos Castenada in the Mojaves with an rucksack of peyote and drums of water, sans communication, food, or clothes. There is a real connection to the other here - you cant help but succumb to the tribal drones. So, the blueprint of this sound may have been initiated by Animal Collective, but its the breakthrough of that band that allows Seven Feathers Rainwater to get their day in the sun - and, hopefully, then some.

15 Apple Magicians is out now. There e
xists a run of completely unique hand-made LP jackets (in addition to the regular run) made by the band and artists from around Salt Lake and Portland, including Daniel Chamberlain of Arthur Magazine. Well worth hunting down. Dont be surprised if thus becomes a cult classic.

Seven Feathers Rainwater - Indian Casino

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