Laura Gibson & Ethan Rose – Bridge Carols

January 01, 1970

(Holocene Music)


Laura Gibson usually creates objects of
solidity: there are different textures, maybe, her last album full of items
cast in wool, terracotta and maple, like the elements of the ultimate Welcome
Home, but each one a definite song that one could touch and sort into piles.
This foray into improvisation with Ethan Rose is more a thing of liquid or
light. Her found phrases float about in Rose’s sonic soup attaching themselves
to nothing. It takes some getting used to amorphous synth instead of hopalong
guitar, but both artists handle the listener with the utmost delicacy as they
lower you in.


‘Leaving Believing’ is still full of Gibson’s
trademark warmth, with each lilt of her voice still skittering over the
heartstrings as it ever did. There are echoes of Rio En Medio, Amiina and early
Hanne Hukkelberg to be found in Rose’s soft clicks and dulcimer strums, and in
the spongy quality of Gibson’s vocal – and, every now and then, a moment of
clarity akin to Björk’s Vespertine, a
furtive rising of strings at the end of ‘Boreas Borealis’ that shows what this
album could have been before it was
so liberally melted at the edges.


But then it would not be this glorious
liquid, a cosy bowlful of music to drink in a sitting. It is what it is and
ought not be anything else. Such is the way with albums made of forest field
recordings, found lyrics and spontaneous sounds. To change its physical state
would be artificial. I am happy to let it flow.


‘Leaving Believing’, ‘Boreas Borealis’ MERYL


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