Zomes, I thought you were my rock. I thought you were my glacier. I thought, “No man is an island, except Asa Osborne — that man is an island. That man is a continent.” I thought there was a chance you’d hypnotize me with your ecstatic mantras and swirling organ improvisations until the end of time. But with the addition of Swedish vocalist Hanna Olivegren to your project, things might have changed: Zomes is now two people (even three on tour), and Zomes might very well be playing “songs” now, as opposed to brief sketches of eternity. Have Zomes abandoned that glorious stasis? I check out “Cave Mountain Stream” from the forthcoming Time Was LP to find out:
Mr. Osborne, can you forgive my moment of doubt? I realize now that you’re still our avatar of Forever; you’ve just found a broader way to express it. Miss Olivegren’s gorgeous vocal lines layer together and overtake the mix, heightening the trance state induced by the thick keyboard progression and drum machine crawl. If this is a song — even “pop,” on some level — it’s only because it happens to end after four and a half minutes. In terms of tone and atmosphere, Zomes, you’re as deep as you’ve always been. I cross my legs, straighten my back, and close my eyes, prepared to let the track loop. I’ll make sure I snap out of it for a little while when Zomes (as a trio!) plays a show near me and when Thrill Jockey releases Time Was on April 16.
• Thrill Jockey: www.thrilljockey.com