Here's what you need to know about Goslings: they're a husband and wife duo (from Michael Gira and Jarboe to Damon and Naomi, what is it about the alchemy of life-love-work intertwining that makes for such compelling sounds? The best, and only, argument I've seen for getting hitched.) from Florida (It makes me fucking proud! I need some hope for my home state.) and this is a nattily packaged compilation of two ultra-rare CD-Rs that Crucial Blast has done us the favor of reissuing. Can I go ahead and talk about the album now? Oh wait, I'm speaking to myself only?
While "In May," at a first casual listen, appears to be the sounds of two musicians leaving the amps a-runnin' upon leaving the practice room, more careful listens reveal carefully woven collages of guitar feedback forming dark clouds and a steady high-pitched rain, that finally part to reveal the blinding sunlight -- birds chirping and a clear, spare organ lament with slowed-down choral vocals.
"Statuette" reminds me of Charalambides' structureless hymns or Loveless My Bloody Valentine without the drums -- a gorgeous miasma of swirling, restrained guitars (harsh fuzz pushed far to the fringes, a gentle chiming wave in the forefront) and electronics and a lone female voice occasionally interceding in wordless singsong bliss. And it, too, feeds into the sounds of nature, field recordings of frogs, crickets, lakeside noises, waves gently lapping against a dock; it's almost alarming how much their music at times resembles these weird twilight summertime interludes.
"Summer For Spring" is like three or four different ideas all compressed together into one song and making them all seem to make sense -- first one reverberating synth note and chimes ringing are overwhelmed by fingernails scraping up and down a guitar string until the chimes fade and a bass and guitar sound like they are about to erupt into 4AD-style shoegazer godhead, then that's thrown away for simple guitar strumming and high angelic vocals seemingly slightly, proudly out-of-sync with one another. It's that kind of casualness that makes them utterly awesome; where you see that they could easily "do" the pop/alternative song thing, but then they dangle it in your faces and instead go for a lovelier kind of randomness/complication.
"Bloom Again" is an all too brief disembodied torch song, ghostly vocals and guitar, like the residue of spirit left in a long ago abandoned concert hall. "Celestine" could be the soundtrack to some 1960s psychological thriller, just creeping, one-note atmospherics. Listen to the soaring vocals and faraway muted guitar rumbles at the end -- almost like blues from heaven. The album closes with two miniature dronescapes: "Sthenno" sounds like white dwarf starts drifting blissfully through space, singing to one another, and "Herons" is a lovely, malfunctioning lullaby.
Reminiscent of Earth, ASVA, Lush, and your own subconscious need to create beautiful things.