Album Reviews


7 Gems from the Sparkling Void

Artist:     Aircraft

Album:     7 Gems from the Sparkling Void

Label:     Admirable Traits Records

Release Date:     08/28/2015


Escalating chaos grapples with ethereal purity in the seven gems (or tracks) of Aircraft’s enthralling 2015 disc. Visually, the bending of light comes to mind, slivers warping into tiny prisms and then waving erratically in tormented yet beautiful lines. The project thrives in a fast-paced sonic blend with quick, light rhythms underlying evocative harmonies. As each gem takes the listener further into the void, time and wavelengths oscillate, twisting and slowing sonic rules and universal truths. Each track becomes looser and hazier, yet more vast and intriguing. The light that shines from the deepest fathoms of the void, though lesser in frequency, is the most radiant.

Opening track “Space Euphoria” floats in untouchable bliss before the following tracks break from utopia. “Dig” and “White Light” descend into a surf rock graveyard with an increasingly violent ebb and flow of heavenly melodies and haunting harmonies.  In “White Light,” an eerie Gregorian humming destructs into a helicopter blade-like buzz, while dazed vocals spin along.

The shift from dark to light happens effortlessly in a single guitar riff, like the poppy introduction of “Stick” descending into eerie discord. Guitar segments emulate a hazy sitar in a trance-like rise and fall. Psychedelic elements escape the mold, drifting aimlessly into offsetting measures. You’re falling into the abyss.

“Am I asleep or am I awake?” – lyrics from “Camera Song” sum up the unresolved feeling the album stimulates. Instrumental resolutions falter with dissolutions, the most unsettling moment during the haunting chorus; you’re caught in the outer ring of a whirlpool. “Sink or Swim” continues with this idea of balancing on a threshold, caught in the terrifying yet hopeful moment between floating and drowning. It perfectly emulates mixed emotions.

“Nightfall” ends the album by escaping the confusion with an angry certainty. Yet, the turmoil of this conclusion echoes in a sonic overload of mentally stimulating heavy guitar blasts and vibrations beneath alternating ascending and descending vocal harmonies. A decision has been made. “I know I don’t want to remain without you tonight.”

– Kalyn Oyer

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