Polly Fae — Dreamwalkers
(Projekt no#, 2019, CD / DL)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-10-11
It’s always an interesting situation when one ‘discovers’ an artist who already has eight previous releases. Where have I been all that time? Polly Fae, for those eight previous releases known as Paulina Cassidy, put out the first four on her private label Ulaluma Records, and the next four were on the Projekt label; she is probably just as well known for her artwork and tarot cards as she is for her music. For this latest release, Dreamwalkers (her ninth overall), she decided to release it as Polly Fae, though her music appears to be continuing on a similar trajectory with all that came before it. The title – Dreamwalkers – is entirely appropriate for her form of ambient, dreamy, avant-garde shoegaze non-pop, for lack of a better descriptor; a subtle and introspective maze of mystical shimmering sounds come together on each of of the fifteen tracks, including Polly’s breathy whispered vocals that can hardly be deciphered most of the time, an effect I believe is entirely intentional to the overall end result. The listener will find themselves paralyzed by the sheer beauty of the enveloping sound fragments that surround the listener on this journey. Credits do not disclose who plays the instrumental parts, though it may well be all of Polly’s doing. What I hear are pianos (both standard and prepared), synthesizers, loops, all treated with epic amounts of studio reverb, echo and sustain, with perhaps small amounts of bass, acoustic guitar, all intertwined with multiple layers of vocals, all treated to similar effects. I’m occasionally reminded of the mid-90s work of artists like Lycia, though Dreamwalkers is even more avant and ambient overall, with a drifting and restless spirit that moves through ever-shifting, somewhat dark sonic vignettes. There are moments of bright and floral melodic color, though deeply introspective. What I hear is truly fascinating and beautiful, something I want to play over and over for hours on end, a soundworld from which I never want to escape.
Related artist(s): Polly Fae / Paulina Cassidy
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