Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
When you fall asleep on your arm or something pinches in your leg and it goes numb, it's a sensation that there's little anyone can do to recreate without doing irreparable damage. There's no control to be had when those parts conk out. The legs lose all their mandatory rigidity and just crumble into immobile lumps of knees and flesh. Arms, as the blood starts rushing back into them are freakish, gradually able to do more and fairly quickly regaining their feeling, as a blush sets into the veins, a pulse of realization that they're required again to do something and maybe that's just to fork some coleslaw or rub an eyelash from a eye's corner. As that blood moves back into its place, feeling like ice as it does so, it's then that we can sense that we're still here, that all of the parts are still able to take commands and nourishment. Brooklyn duo Glass Ghost makes music that could be taken for these sorts of reassurances that the intrusions - even temporary ones - are gone again for the moment. Singer and synth maestro Eliot Krimsky and drummer Mike Johnson are the blood getting back to doing what it was born to do and that's to be so effective and so valuable and beautiful in its movements that it's blind lightning or silent thunder. It's felt by the skin more than anything, stinging the pores and the tiny hairs that stand on end every time the charge flushes the room. Krimsky finds ways to send you shivers with his Neil Young-like falsetto, giving it a touch of the Arctic Sea though, instead of California. It sounds as if it has been forced into seclusion in some desolate location, with just the songs to keep it practiced. It has a spectacular coolness that just melts into you, leaving you dry-mouthed and wide-eyed. The rhythms that Johnson adds to these songs of immaculate self-discovery - songs that feel as if they are the less conceptual cousins of the songs that Midlake wrote for "The Trials of Van Occupanther" - are expressive and woodsy. The overall tone of the band's debut album, "Idol Omen," is one of gorgeous patience and stepping lightly into this new world that's painted silver and frozen blue, white and light pink, a world that begins and ends with someone before a fire, trying to warm themselves back to an operative state, where they can enjoy the tea that's on the stove, the laughter and fresh air in the distance and the way that it makes you feel to recover from a numbing. Glass Ghost music is Sunday afternoon and it's such tranquil chaos as well, with Krimsky singing about ancient tigers on occasion and delving into matters that have no happy endings - when sensitivity leaves and all that's left is a quaint recollection of what is supposed to be felt. Krimsky sings on "Like A Diamond," "I really don't know why, but I have a sense I'm not feeling, a sea of eyes and a field of wolves and a hurricane and a silent song and a tiger's look and a wall of arms, like an open heart, like a diamond," giving us a close listen to a soul seeking.
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