From the moment that a cello's screech begins imitating a forlorn feline's gentle meow in opener "Ode to Fig", you'll know what love is. Of course, this isn't the first thing to truly pack a punch; the voice of Bad Braids' Megan Biscieglia drifts into our realm with a feather touch and angel's light. With so many making their mark within the dazed-out structure of the dreamy folk genre, the bare honesty and pure unbridled joy held within the open confines of Supreme Parallel is still somehow unmatched.
After 2012's EP Arrow and Orb, we didn't think the next set of sounds from the Pennsylvania-based songstress could come soon enough. Then, like a lark sent straight from the mouth of the music heavens, we had this full length drop into our laps and sink right into the crevices of our waiting minds.
"Clover" winds a bated guitar line through the wavering breath of a distant organ while shedding sultry light on the more forbidden elements of life long-forgotten before bursting into a racket to drive away the darkness. The cold touch of "Winter" threads a seasonal longing into the mix, showering us in shades of grey while a barely-contained theremin and the voice of family-favourite Mike Bruno provide a soft bed to wash away in. "All the Lines" captures the perfect brand of hazy psychedelia and wrenches its heart out, bathing in the shower brought on by the storm while a vibraphone yammers somewhere far beneath the surface. Taking a severe departure from its fuzzy but hi-fi predecessors, "Pennies" creeps into view, the wounded animal in the road. It slinks along until you get just close enough and then lashes out with a bite for all its worth. The chill stays on for album closer, "Soldier (I See Parallel Rays)", but instead of allowing it to wrack the entire body, it drains the doubt away, leaving nothing but the feeling itself.
This isn't nostalgia, because nostalgia is something you feel for what you've once had. This isn’t serenity, because serenity is a state of complacency. Happy complacency, but complacency nonetheless. This is an album to make one think and discover, to find worth in the nuance and wonder what worth really is. Supreme Parallel is a definitive statement of inner sanctity, an innocent state of undress, the baring of the essentials and unearthing of the mineral of what makes a song simply sound right. This collection of sounds is unparalleled, and best paired with sights unseen.
Edition of 200; CD with full colour face, jewel cases with 4-panel inserts with full colour art by Sarah Guck. Recorded by Paul Christian & Megan Biscieglia, mastered by Paul Christian, layout by Silas & Amanda
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