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Death of the Sun

Matteah Baim

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Album Review

The line between acid folk and intelligent ambient new age was rarely explored before the 21st century. But by the time of Matteah Baim's solo album in 2007, it was almost in vogue among certain alternative music circles, if hardly a commercial trend. Death of the Sun is a sort of mix of spaced-out folk music with, well, just plain spaciness. The main constants are Baim's plaintive vocals and a temperature that never rises above placid, though the mood is isolated and slightly overcast rather than mellow and peaceful. If her aim was to make music complementing the solitary, dusky, clouded imagery of the cover photography, she succeeded, the songs backing her measured, wispy singing with low-key sonic rumbles suggesting a thunderstorm on the way. These aren't tunes to sing along with so much as pieces to set the mood for a long solitary journey through gray skies and grim waters, with some unusual harmonies that hover around but don't quite cross over into dissonance. It's haunting stuff that imaginatively blends guitar, piano, and hard-to-pinpoint drones and tones, with occasional lethargic fuzzy blasts of electric guitar. The folk root of much of her compositional style is illustrated with a spooky cover of "Michael Row the Boat Ashore," though it's certainly not standard folky singer/songwriter material, not least because its stress is on sound paintings of rather disengaged, dream-like emotional states, and not so much on straightforward communication.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

With Sierra Casady of CocoRosie, guitarist and singer/songwriter Matteah Baim formed Metallic Falcons, who put out the Desert Doughnuts album in 2006. She went on her own to put out the 2007 solo album Death of the Sun, which inhabited the ground...
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Death of the Sun, Matteah Baim
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