If last year’s Slow Boat (released on Keith Kawaii’s Orange Milk) was a free-float through an impenetrable fog, Ashley Paul’s follow up, Line the Clouds, might turn out to be something of a clearing. At least that’s what sounds like is going on with the title track, sunlight peeking through Paul’s penchant for a spooky atmosphere, shining down to reveal the song’s nudity, a bare and spare mix of delicate instruments and that most fragile of melodies. But even though there’s less clutter to be found here, it’s clear that Paul’s vision is still to challenge basic forms like the “ballad” as we once knew them. Here now, in 2013, on the other side of the end of the world, we find ourselves evolving yet again. Music is mutant. But of course that doesn’t mean it has to be any less beautiful.
Ashley Paul’s Line the Clouds is out March 26 on Eli Keszler’s REL Records.