Crystal Myslajek
Circadia [LP; Water Wing]

Crystal Myslajek? Who? Not so fast, she was in Cerberus alum Brute Heart, and resides in Minneapolis. But that’s neither here nor (t)here; what you need to know about is the stunning new LP she’s produced for longtime favorite Water Wing Records. Circadia is part-Barwick, Juliana, part-Legrand, Victoria, part-Mering, Natalie, and, above all, full-on gorgeous. I appreciated Theodorosby Beata Hlavenková (on Minority Records; great label), but these somber cuts go even deeper, Myslajek’s unique double-grand piano setup (she also sings!) accompanied by a skilled squad of a drummer, bassist, and synth(isist)… though she could be playing those synths herself, I suppose. Call it even? Good. Where were we? Oh yeah, Theodoros, Lordy Begordy, is it something different. I always wanted Cocorosie, with their opera-ready chops and rock-ribbed creative jib, to break free of their need to preen and release a record like this. And how is it so rare for piano to be mixed into a unit in this way? I’m struggling to remember any bands with an arrangement close to that of Myslajek’s informal crew, and in coming from a fresh place, each member is performing that rare act of pulling a genre out of thin air like a ripe, raging rabbit that looks nice and all but hey that thing could RIP YOUR THROAT OUT, you can tell by how calm it is. The closest analogue I can think of, outside of maybe a few post-rock bands I wasn’t a particular fan of, is that soul-salving Josh Mason/Gareth Flowers LP (Silent Period, and yes, I reviewed this one in my CoS column before it was stabbed to death in all its glory), in that both offer a purple-blue, scenic, cool-jazz side while adhering to other genres. This record is so far from anything Water Wing has even dabbled in; how do you shelve punk reissues next to modern classical future-works? I don’t know, but WW do it without flinching or even sending out more than an occasional email with their vinyl promos (also: there’s no annoying diagonal cut at the corner of the record jacket; had one of those the other week and sorta thought, “Am I really at risk of selling this record, of the hundreds of LPs I’ve received and NOT sold? NO.”). It might not seem like much but these relationships are a pillar of my ability to enjoy life, so god bless them; god bless you ALL! NEXTTTT… (Opinions expressed not necessarily those of Tiny Mix Tapes.)

Cerberus

Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

Most Read