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Beneath Trembling Lanterns

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Album Review

Far removed from their two other projects — Halou and Invisible Ballet — the Cosebooms, singer Rebecca and producer programmer Ryan, now embark upon a sonic journey into slumberland. As fans have come to expect from this pair, the music within Beneath Trembling Lanterns defies easy categorization; ambient, chill, soundscape — a guarded yes to all three — but even together those terms don't begin to describe this set. Hazy is a better description, evoking an aural light-blue sky streaked with wisps of clouds, forever shimmering and shifting patterns, with occasional disconcerting, darker gray ribbons of thunderclouds sliding through in the distance. This captures the fragmented bits that comprise the rhythms, as well as the samples, sounds, and synths that swirl overhead, all of which almost magically coalesce into the loosely structured pieces, like an impressionist's painting. The synth melodies variously chime; tinkle like music boxes; sweep up majestically; or gently ring, quiver, or froth forth in orchestral glory. There's a richness to the tones, but no matter how dense the sounds become, there's a delightful sense of empty spaces, like standing in a flower-carpeted meadow surrounded by trees. And in the center lies Rebecca, dreamily staring up at the light pouring down, weaving delicate melodies like dandelion chains through Ryan's intricate backings. On "Baby Beating Heart" she sounds wide awake, almost belting out the lyrics, but on "Soft Breasts and Ice Cream" she tenderly caresses the melody like a sleeping baby. But whether delivering sweet lullabies or more soulful offerings, she always sounds a million miles away, her beautiful vocals making even lines like "26 pounds of cow muck" sound exquisite. After the emotive dance-driven ecstasies of Halou and Invisible Ballet, the pair deserved some quiet time, and with Lanterns they've offered up a sublime set as an antidote.

Beneath Trembling Lanterns, R/R Coseboom
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