Sadness is in the Sky – by Steve Phillips

DEBRIDEMENT [Chair Kickers Union, 2003]

from Sadness is in the Sky

The opening track from Rivulets’ new album sets an uneasy precedent for what is to come, but it’s what follows ‘An Evil’ that really leaves an immediate watermark. The 4 minutes of ‘Cutter’ are bare, brittle, and utterly captivating. Like Duluth neighbors Low or the sparse ‘Arise Therefore / I See a Darkness’-era work of Will Oldham, ‘Cutter’ is stripped down, filling the air with a distinct feeling of anxious desperation. Many who witnessed Low’s Australian performances in early 2002 will attest to the power of such an execution of song.

As it winds its way through the darkened corridors of singer / songwriter Nathan Amundson’s psyche, ‘Debridement’ develops an unnerving air; drones and resonating sounds from the surrounds collide at a distance. Thus, the result leaves the listener in a state of reflection, Amundson and guests including Jessica Bailiff, Mark Gartman, If Thousand’s Aaron Molina, and Low’s Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker collude to create an essence which is one of the dire, of solitude and of darkness.

If you find the soulful work of Jessica Bailiff, Jason Molina and Songs: Ohia, or Grand Salvo enticing, or the solitudal anxiety of Ian Curtis a must, then Rivulets’ ‘Debridement’ will be just what you’ve been waiting for.

Steve Phillips, Sadness is in the Sky

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