Graham Reid | | 1 min read
Auckland's Paul McLaney has a long career of considerable accomplishments in various genres from acoustic singer-songwriter and rock (with Gramsci) to setting some of Shakespeare's soliloquies to music.
He was also an accomplice on this excellent – and expensively produced – prog-rock hoax.
Under yet another alter-ego, The Impending Adorations, he has presented four albums of seductive music which seem to exist between the secular and the spiritual, ambient and unsettling synthscapes and programmes cut across by a voice which can allude to hymns or disconcerting soundtracks.
Those four albums – download or streaming only releases – were Gestalt, Intentions, Further and Threshold and when the series commenced with Gestalt he wrote about the ethic behind the series for Elsewhere, and we subsequently reviewed Intentions and Further.
Of this new one he recently told Elsewhere, “I wasn't sure if I would make any more after the initial G.I.F.T. Series, but [Allies] fell out of the sky.”
Again these nine songs exist between genres but occupy a somewhat haunting cinematic-cum-ambient landscape where disruptive percussion and otherworldly, interwoven synth parts act as counterpoints to the often dreamy, weightless vocals.
You could imagine Bowie, Eno and Holger Czukay going down this path together in the mid Seventies to anticipate this 21stcentury music.
There is drama here too (as on the stentorian tone of Breathe In/Breathe Out) and even things which approach atmospherically dark pop (All At Once, the upbeat closer Memento).
In the absence of a lyric sheet it can be difficult to discern what much of this about but when words and phrases like “slip away”, “breathe in, breathe out” and "exhausted by it all" emerge you get some suggestion of sepia-toned pictures.
When Elsewhere gets a return on its Lotto investment we'll flick Paul McLaney the readies to get these five Impending Adorations onto gatefold vinyl with lyric sheets . . . because that is what they truly deserve.
Meantime you can hear this and the previous IA albums at Spotify here