Mourning Jewelry by Less Bells
Like salty sea shanties in slow motion
Mourning Jewelry: decorative objects worn in remembrance of lost loved ones. Less Bells: five American musicians, led by violinist and composer Julie Carpenter, making Ambient music, touched by the Joshua Tree desert.
Following 2018's debut Solifuge, this seven-track album continues to experiment with contrast. Tension and release, light and dark, beauty and grief all manifest in its balance of sounds and moods. Like salty sea shanties in slow motion, Mourning Jewelry lopes with a sombre gait at once joyous and expansive while ominous and contemplative, as if watching an epic drama unfold from the hopeless shelter of a camouflaged observation hide, a thrilling sense of perpetual malevolence lurking on the other side of the canvas. Soothing strings play off tentative electronic textures to draw focus and then blur. Carpenter's tense violin giving way to a funereal chorus on Fiery Wings is a fine example. On Plait thunder claps accompany emotional synths to create a moody and unsettled condition. Glimmers of hope can be found on The Fang with its lightly strummed guitar and yearning violin but the sense of vulnerability is ever-present; a sharp reminder that life changes dramatically and quickly. This is what it feels like to grieve.