Farewell, Doomed Planet! by Elizabeth Joan Kelly
A truly distinctive Experimental Ambient concept album. Beau Travail!
Near future, in the darkest nuclear winter, only wolves avoid obligatory migration. Whales glide deep blue space, escaping the ruinous remains discarded by humanity. Farewell, Doomed Planet! is a concept album and a comment on how we've truly fucked up our world and a dream about escaping. Whisked off on a cosmic flit, a series of spectral travelogues depict our massacred earth as we leave for good. It's a sombre dispatch from New Orleans musician Elizabeth Joan Kelly but relayed in skewed, glorious beauty through a series of captivating compositions.
Using field recordings, found sounds and her voice, the flow between blissed-out Ambient passages and more Experimental fare is deceptively smooth (leaving Earth wouldn't be this easy surely?). The transition, for example, from wonky rhythms on Unusual Capsule to the cavernous space travel of album highlight Whaliens, is perfectly realised through the sublime choral melodies on Trinity Quadrant Cantata sandwiched in between. This clever anecdotal flow a core ingredient in the overall concept. And while Whaliens is as good as anything by Loscil and Cosmonaut Chorus is sibling-rivalry to Julianna Barwick, this is a distinctly unique take on electronic music that demands celebration. Farewell is an album full of dream-like sequences, powerful visual cues and surreal moments; a hell of a journey! And if the uplifting burst of optimism halfway through closing track Beau Travail fails to trigger an emotional reaction, then you're probably dead.
A slow-grower that eventually and irrevocably grips your senses and your sense of responsibility. Good work indeed.