French artist Félicia Atkinson’s Visions / Voices is what seems to be her first proper album in eight years. La La La and Visions / Voices aren’t even in the same ballpark when it comes to genre classification – it’s hard to believe Atkinson has evolved to this current state. La La La contains lighthearted acoustic instrumentation and her clean, crisp vocal work. It seems like this cheerier Atkinson took a wrong turn, went deep in to a cave, got stuck there for a while and ended up with Visions / Voices. This album leaves the listener with a feeling of despondence with Atkinson’s doleful vocal work along with her bass (and what seems to be the rest of her instrumentation) in an extremely low register accompanied with a deluge of reverb and delay pedals. The album kind of softens up at the end with “Badlands.” A lightly reverberated harp along with Atkinson’s faint vocals and her disconsolate double providing chorus, with its own choppy melody, persist throughout the song. Atkinson’s quite fitting among the kranky and Constellation block of artists, so I’m a wee bit surprised that she released this on Umor-Rex where her contemporaries aren’t as, dare I say it, gothic. I’m by no means trying to belittle Atkinson by calling this work dreary, because I love me some dreary, dead to the world, music. Consider it my warning if this type of music isn’t up your alley! If you happen to miss out on the first 150 which are the transparent green vinyl pictured above, there’s 300 more after that which are black; the total run is 450. Check out the Spotify stream below of Visions / Voices and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details

Limited Double Vinyl Edition. 450 copies in Gatefold Covers with black inner sleeves, incl. 11x11 inch insert and download code. First 150 copies come in green transparent vinyl.

Ah, the canyons of the mind… how they echo and rumble. Here we have eight of them, some resembling long, exhausted songs, haunted by the sounds of small accidents and deep tremors; others are more abstract than that, no windy voice, no stretched out melody, just eerie soundscapes that evoke many things, all of them drowned. Felicia Atkinson can conjure up some mighty spacious ghost towns. Visions/ Voices gathers three years of work, previously released as very limited run cassettes and cd-rs, now mastered by James Plotkin and published under the Umor Rex banner. Its cobwebbed attic contains an odd collection of subtly deranged and detuned musical instruments; a piano, a Celtic harp, some guitars, keyboards, electronics, and a female voice deeply lost in the woods… each of these elements sound like a morbidly sensitive tangle of strings, dust, raw nerves and ectoplasm. It all somehow feels both intimate and cryptic, like a most intimate crypt, yeah, or the x-ray of a blue open sky. After going out on a trip with this album, you might feel like saying “I’ve been to the land of Solitude. It is a sky made of gauze, crowded with ghosts.”

Price $26.04

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