The JangleBox

Indie, Noise, Shoegaze… Music

Jessica Bailiff: At the Down-Turned Jagged Rim of the Sky (Kranky, 2012)

Take us to the sun

Pocos discos podrían ilustrar mejor la festividad de Todos los Santos que celebramos hoy día primero de Noviembre. Porque según la tradición anglosajona de Halloween y todo lo que la rodea, el ambiente sonoro de este At the down-Turned jagged rim of the sky (2012) encontraría en su entorno claustrofóbico y denso la mejor de sus expresiones.
Jessica Bailiff es una cantautora norteamericana que se toma su tiempo para expresarse. Sus discos, aparecidos con cuentagotas desde 1998, así como sus colaboraciones con Low (ex-Flying Saucer Attack), han servido para crearse una imagen con un aura de cierto misticismo y misterio. Abanderada del Slowcore, su sonido tiene mucho que ver igualmente con la versión más parsimoniosa y tenebrosa del Shoegaze (Sanguine, If you say it (My friend, my love), Violets and roses (for a black romantic heart), This is real(soft and feral), Goodnight (hope for more).
Particularmente, me quedo con los temas en los que Jessica pone velocidad de crucero o aquellos en los que pisa el overdrive: Your ghost is not enough (Be with me), Slowly (Show me), Firefly (We could be free), en los que encontramos influencias más claras de bandas clásicas del entorno: Yo la Tengo, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, Galaxie 500…
ATDTJROTS es un disco que en su densidad puede resultarte bastante ameno una vez que le coges el gusto al ambiente claustrofóbico que Bailiff te va a proponer. No esperes temas Pop al uso, sí acercamientos Noise a la versión más oscura de MVB, referencia en el título incluida: Take me to the sun (So warm, so ready), el mejor corte del álbum.
Si eres amante del Slowcore, el Space-Rock y el Shoegaze (etiquetas marca de la casa Kranky), sumérgete de inmediato en los surcos de At the down…, me lo agradecerás.


“Ohio-based sonic sorceress Jessica Bailiff‘s sporadically released albums always come with the sense that huge and mysterious things have been happening behind the scenes. Her last proper album, 2006’s Feels Like Home, appeared silently, turning over the dark waves of fuzzy guitar textures and post-shoegaze drone rock that made up her earlier work for a largely acoustic collection of melancholic, U.K. folk-inspired fare. Six years later, At the Down-Turned Jagged Rim of the Sky follows Bailiff‘s tradition of insular, personal albums that best their predecessors while branching out in completely different creative directions. Beginning with the cryptically titled “Your Ghost Is Not Enough,” the tone of ATDTJROTS is set for sounds we’ve never heard from Bailiff before. While washes of drony distorted guitar warble in the background, the song is less buried than the early drenched shoegaze of albums like Hour of the Trace, with moody vocals coasting high in the mix on roomy drums and a firmly rooted foundation of fuzzed-out bass. The palette of sounds is more in focus without being stripped down at all. The rocking melodicism of “Take Me to the Sun” takes this approach even further, sounding like a sonic argument between Slowdive and the Velvet Underground. It’s as catchy as it is masked in layers of crunchy sounds, making for some of the most directly pop work of Bailiff‘s discography. The album twists through a variety of moods and styles, with lurching atmospheric gothiness on “Sanguine,” doomy organ on the dark lullaby “Violets & Roses” and the neo-folkish “This Is Real,” and wintery indie rock akin to the mid-’90s 4AD roster on album closer “Firefly.” These stylistic changes are all steeped in Bailiff‘s careful production and unique blend of sadness and foreboding, keeping the overall flow of the album uniform, or at least without jarring stylistic standouts. ATDTJROTS sounds like a long-labored-over album, one that was put down and returned to many times in its gestation period. However, instead of sounding overly precious, it stands as Bailiff‘s most honest and exposed work yet. Over her long-spanning tenure, she has developed a signature sound, stemming from the exploratory tone-mining of space rock but with an intimacy all her own. The nine songs here represent her most ambitious and daring experiments yet, while retaining the considerately dreamy core that sets her work apart from any number of other soft-spoken spaceheads” (

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1 noviembre, 2012 Posted by | Jessica Bailiff | 1 comentario


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