Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Record Review: Circulatory System - Signal Morning

I'm not sure if it comes across in the review--sometimes I try to avoid exaggeration or over-excitement in published pieces--but this record is brilliant. Really. It deserves a listen.

For Atlanta Music Guide:

Circulatory System
Signal Morning

Cloud Recordings

Circulatory System’s Signal Morning embodies everything that’s great about Athens’ famed Elephant 6 collective — the experimental streak, the grumbling soundscapes, the ‘60s pop throwback vocals and guitar work (complete with backwards records), the psychedelia — without everything it risks. Will Cullen Hart (formerly of The Olivia Tremor Control), the band’s heart and head, never lets the album get overblown or long-winded. Thoughts never continue longer than the amount of time for which they’re interesting. The songs never get precious or twee (I’m lookin’ at you, early Of Montreal), even at its most adorable moments (“News From The Heavenly Loom”).

Nothing — nothing! — remains static, whether it be an under-a-minute-long interlude (of which the album’s got plenty) or rambling electronic number. The only-48-second “Electronic Diversion,” for instance, is a pentatonic rave that busts unexpectedly but somehow necessarily into a low, House-y dance growl. And the record’s longest track, “Round Again,” at a full 5:36 minutes, is a fully-developed electro-pop statement. With a melody reminiscent of George Harrison at his most Ravi Shankar-obsessed, the song’s lyrics speak of mortality and the changeability of life while the music itself rounds corner after corner, satisfyingly returning to its original home in the end. The album turns on a dime from nostalgic (“Tiny Concerts”) to emotional (“Overjoyed”) to transcendent (“The Frozen Lake/The Symmetry,” “Signal Morning”)...[Read more]

Signal Morning released yesterday via Cloud Recordings. It's the band's first album in eight years, and features guest performances by Julian Koster (The Music Tapes, Neutral Milk Hotel) and even Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), as well as everyone from Olivia Tremor Control. It's an E6 reunion, and it sounds wonderful for it.

[MP3] Circulatory System - "Overjoyed" (via Team Clermont)

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