|SCARCELIGHT RECORDINGS > releases > SLR17|
Your Favorite Horse. Summerland ep. 3"CDR (out of print)
please click here to download from archive.org
sober, patient and stinging with regret and loss. Follows 2002's Makeshift Stars for Railway Cars 2 x 8" on Sonic Syrup, and I Would Close My Eyes But All I See Is The Massacre CDR on Piehead, & the 2003 album Everyday Magic on CD and LP via Enraptured.
01. King Alcohol 5:45
click here for lyrics
|: cover by Cataract Press
Summerland documents in painfully naked manner Jeely's struggles with alcoholism. The disc's five songs are skeletally arranged for voice and guitar, though his trademark guitar manipulations dominate the instrumentals and surface within the others to add subtle enhancement and depth. He veers down the hell-hound trail on “King Alcohol” (“Everyday I woke up, prayed that I would die / Started drinking early, just to open up my eyes”), funereal folk-blues whose lyrics are delivered resignedly, as if with Jeely's last breath; brief moments of soft glimmer pierce the despair though, intimating modest semblance of recovery. Bleak hopelessness also permeates the hymnal interlude “No One Knows I'm Gone” (written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan) and “Bended Knee Blues” (“Remember when we were young / And we said that the sun / Would never set on our dreams / But we're all talk it seems”). The disc closes with two instrumentals, blurry, industrial loops dominating the title track and glitchy guitar shadings and flutter in “Reprise” recalling Accelera Deck.
Distinctively somber and wholly expressive, Summerland is a short collection of quiet, affecting songs for voice and guitar, gently painted with glistening lines of synthetic digital color. The man behind the work is Chris Jeely, whose work as Accelera Deck is often slanted towards heavy digital manipulation of his sound sources; in Summerland, he allows his songs to stand more clearly in the open and speak with a more natural (acoustic) approach.
That's not to say no electronics are to be found; they weave themselves carefully throughout the work, serving as highlights, humming and burbling in the background, emerging in some areas (overtaking completely in others), always adding a colorful depth to the repetitive and greyed guitar patterns and despondent vocal tone of the songs. The vocal effect here is simple but special; each line is doubled in unison, panned hard left and right; the introspective voice faces itself, singing into a mirror.
Jeely has captured a simple, heartfelt essence that eludes most . . . Summerland is music in a pure form, unencumbered by pretense, an aural experience that connects to the listener's emotional sensibility. And we share momentarily a bond with the musician behind the work; the methods and medium become secondary, it's just enough to know that in Summerland, Jeely makes that connection.
We want to know more. And we listen again because we treasure the way it shares itself with a genuine and human voice.