♫♪  KVL - “North Branch”

“North Branch” marks a Chicago point for KVL on their debut LP, a slow meander of icy flow chillaxing along the banks of rivers, and that is not a Tortoise reference for nothing, even though maybe Isotope 217 and other Mazurek works are more appropriate touchstones. Chicago it is — let’s not escape it, and let’s also not forget that Mazurek is now sort of an institution in Texas, a state he now shares with his (and KVL’s) label, Astral Spirits. But this isn’t about Rob Mazurek; this is about Quin Kirchner, Daniel Van Duerm, and Matthew Lux, whose last-name initials make up the titular KVL. Like you didn’t notice that, you observant reader you!

Let’s go back to that utter chill mentioned right up there, that vibe so laid back that it’s impossible to tell the natural forces from the effort, like the way “North Branch” cuts through geography as if it’s both a tune and a tributary. Nothing seems like it oughta, and we can’t perceive the utter tonnage of its erosion, just like the track rumbles over our ears, carving the roots of its passage like a glacier. We can’t perceive because Kirchner’s kit keeps it light, keeps it agile, keeps it moving, while Van Duerm and Lux’s piano/etc. and bass, respectively, bob heavily like icebergs in the middle of it. “North Branch” crushes dams and locks with a power barely perceived in reference to its elegance. It’s unstoppable only because nature isn’t going to allow anything to stop it.

All that to say, KVL be crushin’ it on “North Branch,” and on the fittingly titled Vol. 1. Bring a life preserver.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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