Earlier this week No Fear of Pop premiered the first single from Pillars and Tongues‘ forthcoming LP on Empty Cellar, The Pass and Crossings. You can listen to it “The Making Graceful” here now:
“Employing mainly violin, double bass, drums, bells and occasionally organs, and relying on the marvelous baritone of Mark Trecka, Pillars and Tongues’ music always has one foot in the avant-garde, while never completely abandoning pop, which in this case is gloomy, dark, and dreamy, almost cinematic, evoking pictures of lost and doomed landscapes. The Pass and Crossing is close to nothing contemporary, a truly outstanding piece of sonic art.”
– No Fear of Pop
The Pass and Crossings tracklist:
1. A Dance In The Billowing Absence
2. The Palms to Tell
3. Thank You, Oaky
4. Oaky (Doting)
5. The Making Graceful
6. Decadent Crossing
Once based entirely in Chicago, and now in near-constant motion, Pillars and Tongues is a formidable force, large and looming. The Pass and Crossings is the third full-length offering from the trio, and their second for San Francisco vinyl label Empty Cellar out June 28th (pre-order link below), and are currently touring the US in support of the record (tour dates below).
Having spent years developing a uniquely textured sound, Pillars and Tongues have now given teeth their creation, and the doom is manifest. Like French experimental chanteuse Catherine Ribeiro’s early ’70s collaborations with Alpes, Pillars and Tongues brings passion, cohesion, and lyricism to the avant-garde. This is immediately apparent in the lyrical depths of the album opener, “A Dance in the Billowing Absence”, a song seemingly conjured by seduction from some very dark places. Beth Remis’ lush violin lines swell and sing over plodding, taiko-like drums, moving at a pace and with a weight that would not be out of place on an Earth record. Mark Trecka’s baritone pleads with absent forms and howls haunted poetry to reach them.
Heavily melodic, rolling, desert drones permeate this album, rendering the listener captive to deeply hypnotic vibes punctuated by the heavy, danceable and almost tribal rhythms on tracks “Thank you, Oaky” and “The Making Graceful”. As with their previous album, Lay of Pilgrim Park, Pillars and Tongues continues to evoke a certain era of 4AD releases – think the goth-drama and global grooves of Dead Can Dance.
When Trecka, Remis, and Hydzik hit it just right, their voices and instruments blend like the reeds of a pipe organ to create something that is altogether far greater than the sum of their parts. This sort of alchemy is just the type of thing they have been honing for the past few years, accepting invitations to tour as support for Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Joan of Arc, opening for Dirty Three with Nick Cave, Bill Callahan, Daniel Higgs, Sir Richard Bishop, Red Red Meat, etc., and performing hundreds of concerts in various other scenarios from basements to cathedrals, from Albuquerque to Lisbon.
Trecka has kept busy in what would otherwise be moments of calm, touring much of the past year, as the drummer for Dark Dark Dark or performing solo; and Remis has loaned her voice and violin to recordings and performances by Elephant Micah.
This is a record full of dark moments and seductive pleas. Engineered by Mike Ursey and Theo Karon, and mastered by Paul Oldham. Performed with contributions by Ben Babbitt and Theo Karon from the band This is Cinema. Available in CD and LP formats via Empty Cellar June 28th. Keeping with the times, the LP comes with a high quality digital download and 16×23″ poster.
05-27 Lincoln, NE – Cultiva
727 S. 11th St., Lincoln
w/ Woven Symbol, Cool it Action!
05-28 Iowa City, IA – White Lightning Wherehouse
700 S. Dubuque St.
w/ Buoyant Sea, Zodiac
05-30 Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle
1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago
w/ Ga’an, Axis:sovA, Ancient Ocean
06-01 Columbus, OH – Iuka House
2131 Iuka Ave., Columbus
w/ Time and Temperature, Zac Little (fr. Saint Seneca)
06-02 Pittsburgh, PA – Garfield Artworks
4931 Penn Ave., Pittsburgh
w/ Gallina and Mike Tamburo
06-03 Baltimore, MD – 2640
2640 St. Paul St., Baltimore
w/ Deradoorian (of Dirty Projectors) and Hiro Kone.
06-04 New York, NY – Cake Shop
153 Ludlow St., New York (LES)
w/ Hiro Kone, Effi Briest
06-05 Biddeford, ME – The Oak and the Ax
140 Main St., Suite 107
w/ Hiro Kone
06-09 Brooklyn, NY – Zebulon
258 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn
Pre-order The Pass and Crossings HERE
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