Failing Lights
World Looking Back [CS; Gods of Tundra]

It is an extremely nice surprise to have Mike Connelly back to his old tricks again. His and Tara Connelly’s underappreciated work as Clay Rendering seems to be his focus recently, but clear effort went into making the return of his Failing Lights moniker noteworthy and nuanced. With World Looking Back the influences of his time with Wolf Eyes or Hair Police are minimized and instead here is a musical embodiment of “golden hour” light. Sure, there have been hints of beauty within specific Failing Lights releases, but it’s hard to imagine his earlier work being described as “elegiac guitar work dappled with airy, oneiric electronics.” Connelly flexes the boundaries of his usual territory and lays down two tapes of fog-enshrouded, mournful ambiance that equally captures the beauty of a world waking up at sunrise or the stars slowly appearing as night rolls in. There are moments where sufficient volume will devastate a stereo system, but they are in service of contrast rather than focus. Through the ambient rumble and distant, melancholy vocalizations the cover art begins to appear as a set of instructions: listen while frozen in a moment of sadness and grace.

Cerberus

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