CROSS RECORD – ” Wabi Sabi “

Posted: November 16, 2016 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , ,

Husband and wife combinations can sometimes sound clichéd and schmaltzy, all winsome sing-song and cooing back and forth. Cross Record are rather different. In 2013, Emily Cross decamped from Chicago to the remote, idyllic town of Dripping Springs, Texas, with her husband, Dan Duszynski. Living on Moon Phase ranch with a bird sanctuary in tow was something of a different experience to city life –  the scorpions on the cover of this album are a snap Cross took of the creatures in her bath. Over two years Cross has produced a potent, atmospheric and bewitching record which perfectly captures the fiery dawns and smoky evenings of their new abode.

Wabi Sabi is set in vast spaces but communicated in an intimate way, and thus feels simultaneously unsettling yet strangely comforting. Just 9 tracks long, it is intense and passionate, disparate elements in the individual tracks making up for a lack of quantity elsewhere.

Lead single “Steady Waves” builds from acoustic flickers to a foreboding howl of a climax, powerful and gripping in its cinematic sweeps, whereas “Basket” swims in an eerie smoulder. The video to “High Rise” is as disconcerting as its sonics, minimalist electro shifting into thick guitar, and moments of hopelessness shuddering into violent explosions. On “The Depths”, muffled whispers merge into thunderous potency in a reflection of the instability of human experience and its messy dissonance. “Something Unseen Touches A Flower To My Forehead” is the sweetest track on the record, almost pop like in its immediacy.

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Throughout Wabi Sabi there are birds cawing in the distance, marimba and kalimba flickering, and a ladies choir offering vocals, adding to the feeling of being absorbed in the expansive vista. Destabilised static and soft pulsations blur with the sound of nature and those dusty, warm spaces.

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The recording process of Wabi Sabi was slow but meticulous, and Cross working 60 hour weeks in restaurants, cleaning and other roles which allowed her the head space to create and compose. Collaborating with a variety of other artists, it’s been carefully sculpted, samples and recordings being produced, ripped apart, and changed again. What this means is that the album is exploratory and intoxicating in its slow perusal of deep emotions, stirring and resonant in its weirdness – and completely beguiling.

Wabi Sabi was released: 29th January 2016, Ba Da Bing Records

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