Monday, July 13, 2015

Listen: Cemeteries - "Sodus"/"Luna (Moon of Claiming)"

It's hard to believe that Kyle Reigle aka Cemeteries has essentially been working on the follow up to his debut full length album The Wilderness since its release in October of 2012. Sure, Reigle has had his fair share of distractors in the form of his synth-heavy horror movie inspired side project Camp Counselors, a North American tour supporting Teen Daze, and a cross country move to Portland but ultimately Reigle's been plodding away at his follow up with a patience that's certainly commendable.

And with his sophomore album Barrow recently announced, Reigle's left that patience behind, dropping not one but two songs from the album in rather quick succession. For as much as "Sodus" and "Luna (Moon of Claiming)" resemble The Wilderness-era Cemeteries, there's a fair amount of forward momentum both metaphorically and in actual practice. Reigle's knack for longform dreamy tapestries and foggy obscured vocals endures however. Where The Wilderness proceeded from icy chill to warming thaw "Sodus" and "Luna (Moon of Claiming)" more or less continue right on from the warmer textures and brighter sounds.

"Sodus" thrums along at a speed far quicker than the standard Cemeteries track and yet, enjoys the same characteristic blossoming. Reigle's vocals swoop and crane and hover in its upper register far above their less delicately traced arcs in counterpoint toward the consistent methodical plod both of the drums and its adjacent gleaming synth tone. There's scores of textural interplay but "Sodus" gains so much of its propulsion from its prevalent melodic lines even as it seesaws between sections.

While "Sodus" begins at a full-fledged gallop, "Luna (Moon of Claiming)" relies instead on a much more gradual acceleration. A solo echoing piano presents the track's pervasive theme before the much more standard guitar, bass, drum, and voice take up the melodic heavy lifting. Reigle leans deeper still into his horror movie soundtrack roots by introducing a vocal chant that lends itself to the otherworldly nature of his lyricism. "Luna (Moon of Claiming)" manages to simultaneously balance moments of eerie with those of artful majesty. Even with its seance vibe, Cemeteries still manages to create  a song of everlasting beauty with enjoyable pop elements and majestic sprawl.

It may have been a work in progress for the better part of three years but "Sodus" and "Luna (Moon of Claiming)" show that it's been three years well spent and Barrow might prove to be a work of significant improvement over Reigle's occasionally luxuriating debut. Cemeteries' sophomore record Barrow is out July 28th and will enjoy a dual release on Reigle's own Snowbeast Records and Track and Field Records.

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