Colleen Captain of None

[Thrill Jockey; 2015]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: minimal pop, experimental dub, loop-based composition
Others: GABI, Mountain Man, Panda Bear, Arthur Russell, Noveller, Toumani Diabate, The Books, Blues Control

[The following is a poem inspired by the music of Colleen and, in particular, her new album, Captain of None. Yeah, I know… But this isn’t (totally) a beg-off from writing a no-nonsense review for you to consult before proceeding to Thrill Jockey checkout (which I highly recommend). I’ll make it as plain as brackets for you now, then you can read and listen along or just move along:

Cecile Schott has been making immaculate little confections from acoustic instruments, loops, and reverb on and off since 2003’s critically lauded Everyone Alive Wants Answers. Her vocally augmented work since her 2007-2013 hiatus initially seemed like an upsetting of an already impossibly delicate balance, but this newly arrived 2015 follow-up is the classic reaffirmer that galvanizes what precedes even as it quietly surpasses. Her voice is not only gossamer perfection, but applied in the same sturdy yet restless spirit as her ever precise, elegant playing. Words are used for their sounds as well as (and maybe more than) their meanings. With Captain, the alchemy is tighter than ever, and a happy air of stoned, lake-sized rippling dub echo presides. But it is a sad sort of paradise, where nothing is set to happen, yet anticipation increases with each nightfall. Even though The Weighing of The Heart is more overtly forlorn, the spacious long-form approach on these eight tracks really showcase Schott’s insistent, tactile, and conversation-with-yourself lonesome performance style. It’s great loner music, for those who own this about themselves but are ever casting a tentative eye toward the throng.]

I sight at the hand, hunker down, and peer off to horizons in retreat, circle the squinted center, hunch down and parse out, pass out visible miles in a muttering.

I function solely at the behest of my nearest and dearest, I see their smiling faces, see them swallowed up in doubt, I put time in these places.

I put time in these places, put soldiery in pin cushion poke holery sentients, succeed where they fail, suck deep and green air every moment, how you fare how it falters everywhere, how it happens to pale, how it pairs off and sinks and sails, all the drying off, all the itchy pore, twitchy sleeps on the cellar floor.

I hold a vast impermanent inconsequential temperament untempered, dented, dampered, the off-color white the dawn was asking for, idea crested in inception.

I took the demon design to heart.

I spoke in even tones on elusive subjects.

I took hold of myself in the room without entrance.

I eased into sit-up position and eyed the vague figure in the distance, for what must’ve been 15 minutes at least, before puzzling out my idiot reflection.

I destabilized and reconstituted at the thought of never knowing you.

I turned to the left and broke our silence with a painted whistle, burned bad, happy when,
bored by now and then, comfort zones punch the spirit in, croizen the noises in.

I pursued other, pursed lip, per se, persecution syndrome gloaming gorgeous, glut of guesswork, wafting wispy, wanton wastrel of wayward desire
      wistful, wistless, wish this so.

I flanked that first teem, teemed them in on, turned them sound on, trimmed sound send you off, off you first, feel thumbs pressed to temple and make it pop
      make a pip
      pippit
      pissing outside
      with rain
      stay in
      stain
      so
      and on and on
      these risible, fleeting abstractions of contentment.

Links: Colleen - Thrill Jockey

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