"You will be cradled and near deafened by love and mercy sounds and the sound of
your own pulsing blood which used to drive me mad as a child when I would try to
go to sleep... " -Carla Bozulich
Evangelista, a striking black 'n' cream bombshell, fits Bozulich's
description very well. The nine tracks span 45 wretched minutes seemingly
haunted by the soul of a folk singer condemned to live out her days within the
burnt-out coils of a busted AM radio. Thorny low-dial static tears her voice as
dissonant reams of organ, cello, and violin pile upon each other like body bags
holding irradiated corpses. Bozulich's voice trembles with barely contained
anger and lunacy; her dystopic sermons glow in half-reflected moonlight.
The composition here is skilled, but far from fussy: sometimes it's just
Bozulich moaning over attic creaks and ominous door-knockings, before sawing
organ and cello harmonies plunge down like rusted knives between shoulder
blades. The shifts from full and furious orchestration to barren, broken
solitude make "How to Survive Being Hit by Lightning" this album's most
emblematic track: it opens with prickly static and anxious feedback, trembling
between frequencies, while clean guitar tones rise like fat silver balloons and
lonely kick drums thunk ponderously in the distance. Bozulich briefly picks up
the tune and tone of an abandoned spiritual, while the awful miasma continues to
swirl; she wrestles with the traditional hymn; the gnarled sonic briars are
finally burnt off and cleared away so a choir of fallen angels can conclude.
This kind of ravishing drama plays out within each song and spikes and tumbles
across the duration of the whole album.
I think Flannery O'Connor would have listened to this before she killed off one
of her characters. I listen to it all the fucking time.
1. Evangelista I
2. Steal Away
3. How to Survive Being Hit by Lightning
4. Inside Sleeps
5. Baby, That's the Creeps
7. Prince of the World
8. Nels' Box
9. Evangelista II