this is not tv – by Adam Farrer

DEBRIDEMENT [Chair Kickers Union, 2003]

from this is not tv

“Debridement”, the second album from Rivulets (aka songwriter Nathan Amundson) arrived on my doormat from sources unknown. Questions of how it came to our hands, however, became instantly irrelevant on first listen to this absurdly minimalist gem.

Opening with the disembodied, Gaelic tinged lament “An Evil” and segueing into the eloquent, heartbroken acoustic trawl of “Cutter” this album has come as close to bringing me to tears as anything I have ever heard. So heavy is the weight of its conviction that you feel its presence pulling at your chest. Maybe I’ve been drinking too much coffee, I don’t know, but it moves in such a way, and resonates with such naked honesty that it is simply impossible to not be affected by it.

Fractured, barely constructed guitar parts weave in and out of Amundson’s sparse gossamer vocals, ambling around in the darkness like an angelic Elliott Smith. Layers of throbbing, dissonant echo and sweet harmonies coalesce in quite the most affecting way. If this doesn’t sound frightfully morbid it is the sort of music that, if you close your eyes and imagine, you can see yourself hearing just before you gently slip away from this mortal coil. Dreadfully gothic and strange I know but that’s the picture it paints for me. Not a violent death you understand, a peaceful ebbing away, lying beside the person you love. The soundtrack to an enviable death no less.

I shall stop here, lest I begin to sound like a sixth former’s poetry book, though not before I once again reiterate, if it is indeed necessary, that this is an absolutely exquisite album and without it your life, and possibly your death, will be a much sparser place.

Adam Farrer, this is not tv

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