Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Richard Larsen and Rowan Pierce of the Wellington, New Zealand, group Glass Vaults give unnervings blankets and they make them feel as cozy as they ever could hope to. They wrap them up, as if they were sick little children, coughing their brains out and running fevers in the triple digits, just burning up at night, suffering through their own doings and those that they didn't bargain for. It feels like a decomposing, like some damp, lumpy posture - as if the people in the very deep, thick pools of these songs were waiting around for a phoenix, or for their arms to spontaneously grow wings out of their forearms and biceps. They're ready to be lifted off of the ground, but they're pretty sure that they're going to be stuck down here with the dumpsters and the exhaust fumes.
There's a man in the song, "Victorias," who feels like he's drowning in liquor, but that goes for the both of us. It goes for most of the understated characters within the confines of these spectacularly patient songs of unsettled design. They are bobbing in a sea of debris and booze - the tattered errands that they've foolishly taken as their own and their windblown hair blowing even more. They're doing what they can to fight cottonmouth and the best way they've found so far is to keep going off the diving board into the scotch, drinking the splash as they enter the liquid. The people in these songs sound as if they're surrounded by prowlers unseen. They're going about their business as if they aren't, but there's not a second that goes by where they're not thinking that something's gonna jump out and git em. It's just not happened yet, so they're not going to disrupt everything on the basis of a hunch, even if it's one that they sense intimately.
Glass Vaults music sounds like a weed-free garden full of fat ass tomatoes and strands and strands of stringy green beans. It sounds like a couple people standing in the landing, with wet clothing dripping onto the tiled floor, gently slowly to a stop. They also feel entirely disconnected to anything - cutting through a hazy evening like a black glove, with a comforting touch that you're sure is for you, but you wonder if you should feel that way. When it's sung that someone feels they don't belong here, the whole mood takes on a sense of someone having been duct-taped around the mouth and had a pillowcase thrown over their heads, dragged out into the middle of nowhere and left to ungag themselves and find their way back to civilization. It's a little like that kind of not belonging. It's a little like having dreamt it all up too.