Snoviti, magloviti pop otopljen u lo-fi distorziranoj elektronici. Futuristički obilazak djetinjstva, livada i industrijskih postrojenja 19. stoljeća.
Alicia Merz (Birds of Passage) - glas između Julee Cruise i Vashti Bunyan - pliva u audio-koži DJ-a/producenta Garetha Mundaya (Roof Light).
Brother Sun, Sister Moon is the collaborative project of Alicia Merz (Birds of Passage) and Gareth Munday (Roof Light). Together the duo explore a landscape of sounds that depart from Alicia’s classic wintery minimalism and Gareth’s post-dubstep styling’s, creating a record consisting of beautifully elegant vignettes and genre-bending sounds that captivate the listener at will. The self-titled album is a trip through sun-dappled pop music, glistening with Alicia’s vibrant vocals reminiscent of Francoise Hardy and Julee Cruise and neatly complimented by a haze of lo-fi instrumentation akin to the distorted experimentation of SLOWDIVE and MY BLOODY VALENTINE. Unafraid to extend their musical reach beyond this, the record ventures into the futuristic beat world channeling influences such as FLYING LOTUS and MADLIB, while traversing vast technicolour electronic sounds that call to mind BOARDS OF CANADA and the ambient tape manipulation of Matthew David. The CD edition of this stunning debut album comes with an exclusive remix by Listening Mirror, while the Dale Cooper Quartet lends a remix exclusive to the vinyl edition. With their debut record Brother Sun, Sister Moon take all preconceived notions of what an album should be and break them down right in front of you, presenting a record that runs the gamut of genre defying boundaries, boldly reimagining pop music for the ‘post-genre’ generation.
The debut self-titled release by Brother Sun, Sister Moon is more than just unique. It is a psychedelic journey across a set of genres that never meant to be grouped together, yet somehow blend effortlessly in the hands of the duo. From neo-folksy guitar strums, to washed out pastel vocals, to post-dub opaque rhythms and thumping experimental Brainfeederesque beats, the music on this Denovali release is wistful, beautiful, and powerful – an exceptional product from such a mighty collaboration. The production of the album is credited to UK based Gareth Munday, aka Roof Light, who previously appeared on Highpoint Lowlife, Broken Bubble, and Phuture Shock Musik labels; while the lyrics and vocals are attributed to New Zealand based Alicia Merz, whom you should know from her Birds of Passage moniker and previous releases on Future Recordings, Cooper Cult, and of course, Denovali.
While listening to the major chord uplifting melodies and light drifting beats, I am reminded of summer cooled convertible rides and sun bathed sandy beaches. This analogy is embellished by the hazy lo-fi aesthetics of the music, reminiscent of sounds by Sun Glitter, Tycho, and Boards of Canada. Add to that some elements from the masters of the organic ambient genre (speaking of which, Listening Mirror mastered the album and even contributed a haunting remix), and you’ve got a mental image that may resemble the music with these words. Although Merz’s vocals may bump the album a bit further into dream pop territory, Munday’s quality production reels the album back into my headphones, and hopefully in yours too.
Although the duo appears to borrow its name from the same titled 1972 film by Franco Zeffirelli based on the life of Saint Francis of Assisi, the similarities end there. The self-described culmination of genres, spanning “childhood hymns” and “post, post-everything”, are even more enigmatic and remain a mystery until one listens to the music, and inevitably agrees. There are a few paralells between this release, and Merz’ Birds of Passaage output, as is expected – Alicia’s lovely voice creates an atmosphere of minimalism, elegance and charm, when it comes to vocal treatments for electronic music. I also recommend her Winter Lady release on Denovali, which will be covered on Headphone Commute later.
The Brother Sun, Sister Moon debut is also released by the French BLWBCK label, and the Aotearoa (New Zealand) based Cooper Cult, which is co-run by Alicia Merz. Along with this album, Cooper Cult also released a limited run clear vinyl 12″ EP, titled I Was All You Are, featuring a collaboration between Birds of Passage and I’ve Lost, a project by Bobby Jones. There’s also an ultra limited blue and white colored cassette of the full length (33 copies of each), co-published by BLWBCK, whose site you must check out if you agree with their tagline “Life Is A Walkman”. Highly recommended for fans of the above mentioned artists, as well as From The Mouth Of The Sun, Windy And Carl, and Orcas. Prepare to fall in love. - reviews.headphonecommute.com
Interview with Brother Sun, Sister Moon
[editor's note: answers by Alicia Merz]
How did you guys meet and come to work on a project together?
It was through soundcloud. i think Gareth dropped a comment that we could perhaps collaborate sometime, and i was delighted, and he ended up sending me a couple of tracks. The first song we created was Storms Break the Day, and we were happy with that, so we kept going.
Describe your recording and production sessions. Were they all done remotely or broken up into individual sessions?
It was really simple. He would send me instrumentals he’d made that he thought would be good for our collaboration, and then i would come up with the vocal part, record it and send it to him. He would work some of his production magic and send it back to me always sounding so good!
I’ve seen you reference the genre as “childhood hymns” — how would you describe your music to my 90 year old uncle?
The songs’ content are extensively about memories, lost days etc, and Gareth’s sounds also greatly reflect feelings of nostalgia. But in saying that, I would rather people interpret the songs how they need to. Take from them whatever they want to. Whatever my lyrics mean to me, what Gareth was feeling when he wrote his pieces, hopefully come through to listeners, but also hopefully leave room for inspiration to draw on their experiences and take from the music everything they need to to better their lives, or that moment, in even a tiny way.
What are the paralells between the name of the project and the 1972 film by Franco Zeffirelli?
Nothing specific. The name suits our music perfectly. The first time I saw that title actually, was not in relation to the film, it was the title of a track that Gareth sent me. And that put the idea in my mind to use as our name.
How did you end up getting signed to Denovali?
Denovali release music for my solo project, birds of passage. They heard some brother sun, sister moon demos on soundcloud and said they would love to release them.
The self titled albums usually serve as an introduction to a particular project. Does that mean that we’ll see more of your work?
Yes, definitely. Hopefully later this year. - reviews.headphonecommute.com/