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Barn Owl, “V” (Thrill Jockey) 4/5

posted February 6, 2013, 2:48 pm by patchen | Filed Under Music News | comment Leave a Comment

Barn Owl’s latest foray into the mystic finds them in a quiet but ecstatic mood. “V” is full of fluid sound poems that reach for the stars while remaining grounded in a simple guitar or ambient line. Sometimes it seems like these songs are barely there; disappearance isn’t the goal, though. Ascension is.
The swirling ambient drone of “Void Redux,” a tone that is added to slowly on “The Long Shadow” and “Against the Night,” both of which are minimal, with ringing guitar underpinning celestial, soaring soundscapes. Barn Owl create more of a churning, anxious pulse on “Blood Echo,” relaxing a bit for “Pacific Isolation,” which is gorgeous: majestic well placed and spaced chords, a comforting psych dream.
The closer, “The Opulent Decline,” feels more like a recap and extended meditation on the previous themes; nothing new to take us out with, but riffing on what has come before isn’t so bad in this case. Still, the one to treasure from “V” is “Pacific Isolation.”
As Barn Owl, Jon Porras and Evan Caminiti have carved out their own place in the heavens, with many an instrument and many a melodic idea serving as fuel. “V” is their latest exploration, one that may take a few spins to fully ingest its meditative but stark revelations.


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