Click here for accessibility information.

 

Review

Aurelie

Desde Que Nací

'Balm for the soul' is how Swim describes Aurelie's latest, but 'music from the deep' would probably be more appropriate for half of this ever-shifting, organic release. The protagonists (two men from central England, despite what you might guess based on the act's moniker) offer a number of dark, brooding arrangements. The slightest riffs and arrangements run throughout, composing chilly aural landscapes akin to a moodier Boards of Canada or Slowdive. Occasionally, as in Stateless, the numbing—yet rich—textures and fractured rhythms are broken by a distant, solitary voice.

Despite the distant and barren feel of some of the arrangements, sporadic moments of warmth and energy intermittently spring up from nowhere. Although Divisible By Three's high-tempo drum machine is something of a red herring, combining with an engaging guitar riff to approach 'pop' like nothing else on the album, the bubbly undercurrent of White Sun Descend and the flickering, incessant rhythm underpinning the masterful I Am Here hint at a more comfortable and familiar place.

In such a context, and after repeated listens, this familiarity brings a change to the remainder of the album. Just as the music of Sigur Rós captures the apparent contradictions of Iceland's barren, sparse, yet utterly beautiful landscape, so too is there a compelling beauty to all of Aurelie's dynamic arrangements.

With this in mind, it's hard to agree with Swim's suggestion that Aurelie's output evokes similar feelings of displacement evident in Akatombo's work. Desde Que Nací never really feels at odds with the world around it, and although initially somewhat haunting, soon takes on a more restful, contented feel. It's a journey of contradictions and evolution, and one that's well worth taking.

Craig Grannell (June, 2004)

Cover artwork