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The Sevens Collective – A Too Much Divided Heart

Beta-lactam Ring Records

The Sevens Collective - A Too Much Divided HeartI love this, the way it spins your head in shape-shifting shadows tipsy with gypsy and Spanish flavours, a tangle of acoustic guitar couriers, whittled violins and word-wrought momentum conjuring, curling. divining. A Too Much Divided Heart starts with “Extraordinary Witch,” a Del Toro mystery remodelled in weaves of classical guitars, dust kicked in flamenco rifts, its passionate heart pointed in heel-stuck piano reverbs. A tense-wrought dervish, slipping its darkened centrifuge bowing out on a perspective-thrown scream.

It’s a great start that only gets better on the bodhrán-knuckled heart that thumps through “The Rose Room,” causally set upon by rattlesnake shakers and a dirge of strings, tramline zithers working themselves into a Pink Dots-like hallucination as words piranha the darkness enfolding it. A gloriously blurred nightmare of an insect Madonna, coming at you atmospherically from all directions. More aether drawn, “And Slowly Fell My Ocean Drone” prefers to burr in semi-transparent mirages and fog-laden minarets caught in a deep throat Tuvan overtones from Soriah. Headphones are a must here, to magnify the pull of hemispheric gasps that cut across his vocal drone like withered trails of otherness, before their inexorable collapse.

“El Adios Del Sol” is a stark spindle of whirly-tube circles, an icy rotator glitches by comparsion, quickly adopting a differing hue of operatic rots on piano tiptoes and some disturbed demonic incitements snapped on shimmering wires. Slavic words interpreted on punctures of tremor(ing) piano. “Waiting, always waiting, for the tide to turn,” a slam of keys breaking every sentence, making you sit up and listen, “for seven fingers of golden light to stretch down… to touch the ground with its beak.” A startling scream of birds as word sigils fall like heavy snow, a silhouetted muse repurposing them in a pallid Munch-like glow. The Spanish words of Michel Leroy of Un Festín Sagital snaking through, all gin-soaked… sorrowful, catching its grimoire’d reflection at the bottom of an empty glass. A sepia worn sigh that also brings to mind Matt Elliott‘s drinking songs.

Instrumental offering “The Levy Flight” breaks the mood with mechanical indigestions and a rosy stigmata of Philippe Petit‘s rotting ambience and weather-worn acoustics with some notable belfry echoes. Drones blown in a guitared oasis, accented in cello doppelgangers, with dark keys adding some tasty bass tones. A brooding canvas, the melancholic “These Heavy Wings” flows through, swirling with discarded chip wrappers, autumn leaves, the odd gull-like scream. A piano-led lament dripping words weighted down with expectant grief, a Cohen-like snaking between a steady rain of nailed notes: “These heavy wings cannot fly, these heavy wings… betray me…” goes the resignation of a voice entombed in slumbering ivory — “A tiny treasure in this dream, you’re a precious thing… I hold you close, to make it last… and it hurts me to think you’ll desert me” — the loose chords wrapping the words, holding them as trophies of deflation, “and these fears come too often like a rusty nail in a dusty coffin,” the music’s edges pulled in aether-doubled distortions, all vortexed, fibrous and bloody superb.

“The Berlin Tapes :: The Island Apes” is part tape montage, part slow jig of lit tapers, the latter burning on a feast of electric guitar, their psyh-shadows vaporising into “Don’t Dig So Deep Now,” the albums closing statement, a neo-folksy normality of lilting strums. The lyric “You’ll never know what you find…” conjoined-twinning the title, fading on a whistled refrain, as the whirring breath of some ghost-scribed cylinder murmurs just audibly into the following silence.

A somnambulistic delight that raps lightly on your window to set your mind alight.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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