Xena Glas’ “Feet” from the Body EP is a Tonal Mantra for Staying Focused in Life’s Most Challenging Phases

Xena Glas, photo courtesy the artist

Xena Glas begins hew new EP Body with the short song “Feet.” With delicately plucked and strummed guitar Glas sets a tone of delicate textures flowing through her ethereal vocals. In the background one hears what sounds like samples of wind and running water. At one point she counts off paces that feel like an internal system of timing rather than something that regulates the organic meter of the ambient layers of the song proper. In the notes to the EP, Glas says this song as well as the track “Hand” represent the aspect of her “lived experience with autism” referred to as “stimming in situations of sensory overload” with counting, tapping fingers and pacing. But one need not have experience with autism on any end of the spectrum to be able to relate to this neurological phenomenon in moments of extreme boredom. Stimming just sounds like good, easy and pragmatic practice for keeping the mind active when things feel overwhelming and when it might be helpful to stay focused on something to derail what we’re supposed to think of as a normal reaction when we have no choice but to deal with a challenging situation. Glas’ composition is a model for calming the mind with simple layers of sound that provide a sonic mantra to help weather a passage of peak stress. With obvious guitar loops, vocals, reverse delay and signal processing, Glas’ spectral introductory song to an EP equally inventive throughout sets the stage for a chill yet engrossing listen. Fans of Phew, Laurel Halo, Loraine James and Alice Coltrane will appreciate the transcendent moods achieved by Glas across the five songs and the undeniable and expansive sense of the possible that permeates each song executed with elegant performances and a keen ear for subtle details and dynamics that the dreamlike quality of the music conveys. Listen to “Feet” on Bandcamp where you can also listen to the Body EP in its entirety. Follow Glas at the links provided.

xenaglas.com

Xena Glas on Twitter

Xena Glas on Instagram

JAF 34’s Film and Music Video for “EMPTY” Charts the Contours and Internally Corrosive Impacts of The Rat Race of Late Capitalism

Think of the new album video by JAF 34 “EMPTY” as something of a short cosmic thriller and science fiction film with obvious nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey, Jodorowsky, Stephen Kostanski and Panos Cosmatos. Musically the arc is like taking the very concept of dream pop to much more ambitious heights than usual. Yes, the flowing, refreshing synth drones that evolve and slip into the cracks of consciousness. Sure the ethereal, simple guitar line that wanders even as it suggests a distant destination. But JAF 34 doen’t leave it there, chapters of this song proceed to give a musical depiction of the way we have regulated our time on the earth and given up so much of our lives to the commodification of not just our waking hours but how the content we help to create to offer up as products of social capital monetizable as experiences and bits of information for others and as markers algorithms can use to market to us and to other people whose own characteristics and patterns of behavior and consumption match our own. This recursive feedback loop the film suggests does in fact leave us fairly empty and running on a kind of treadmill that serves capital instead of our genuine selves. The music thus in the point in the film reflects the layers of distortion and, flux and frantic and desperate activity and for what? More wandering and chasing paths outside our genuine and organic interests and desires and following those suggested to us by an impersonal economic model that enriches large corporations at the expense of society and our individual psyches. It’s an ambitious piece of work that has more in common with a work of art out of FLUXUS, Holly Herndon or Laurel Halo than any standard experimental electronic or rock artist as its social critique is inseparable from its execution. Watch the “EMPTY” in its entirety on YouTube and connect with JAF 34 at the website linked below.

JAF 34 Website

The Dark Dream Logic of Lunar Noon’s “Peregine” Leads to Down a Non-Linear Path to Emotional Reconciliation

Luna Noon, photo courtesy the artist

“Peregrine” shimmers into your ear and takes you with soaring tones to an otherworldly realm as depicted in the Michelle Zheng-directed music video. The dream logic of the song and the video complement each other well. Luna Noon’s crystalline percussion muted bass ground the ethereal vocals and playful, ghostly synth melodies. The confused and disorienting, vaguely menacing interaction between the characters in the video before they reconcile and the lyrics of the song describe the way one can become lost in your own head swept up in a mood of the moment cast adrift on a sea of your own emotions. The song is reminiscent of Laurel Halo’s willingness to go off standard tonal structures and Holly Herndon’s surreal, percussive compositions and that artist’s own penchant for working in uncomfortable emotional spaces as a vehicle to explore one’s own lived psychological dynamics. Watch the video for “Peregrine” on YouTube and connect with Lunar Noon at the links provided.

lunar-noon.com

Lunar Noon on Instagram

Lunar Noon on Facebook

Lunar Noon YouTube Channel