Keywords: alternative experimental folk psychedelic rock shoegaze Seattle WITCHFORK
I first saw Natasha El-Sergany’s somesurprises at Seattle’s Hollow Earth Radio in September 2014 and have been an admirer ever since. I am very excited to take a cosmic journey this afternoon and am happy you are accompanying me, dear reader! It is noted that this album should be played at “maximum volume for peak pleasantries” so let’s crank it up and jump on board.
As we buckle our seat belts, the stellar tones of ‘Sometimes’ reassure us that it will be a smooth flight today. We set the controls for the stars and sit back as a soothing voice comes over the intercom and calms all of our earthly fears. We feel a lightness enter our bodies and surrender to the surprising and the unknown.
We are now full of anticipation as the ship leaves the earth and the soaring sounds of ‘Empty Threat’ hurtle us up through the Troposphere. We see aeroplanes that look like they’re slowly crawling through the clouds. Nothing can touch us now!
‘High Rise’ starts playing just as we reach the Stratosphere, we do as the voice reccomends and close our eyes. We listen closely to the shimmering sounds of the song and the dull hum of the engine. Suddenly there is a brisk change of pace, guitars and drums are energised with the joy of pop. We open our eyes and are indeed surprised at what we see. We seem to have made the leap into the astral plane!
Time has passed and it is now ‘Late July’ – we are sure that we left the Earth in October? But of course, anything is possible here. The ship vibrates with colour, and the sky outside glows in burnt orange hues. We feel completely at peace as we are serenaded with layers of glittering sound.
We look out of the window and see an ‘Airport’ nestled in amongst a swirl of light – our pilot is going in to land. Once safely docked we unbuckle ourselves and exit the ship, amazingly we can breathe with no problem. We enter the airport and it is a gigantic tropical garden, syrupy sweet scents drifting towards us. Brightly coloured hummingbirds flicker around us, pools hide gleaming scales beneath water flowers. The music lifts us up and embraces us like warm air.
We wonder where the warmth is coming from, and learn that the plants are nurtured by a “Country Sun”. Guitar tones caress us with a twang of gold as we gaze up in awe. Hanging above us are hundreds of singing pitcher plants, their bodies filled with sweet nectar. There is an undercurrent of menace buried deep within this song, a faint screaming of insects as they are being devoured.
We know that are quite safe though, and if there was any uncertainty then the delicate sounds woven into “Are You Her?” would remove any doubt from our minds. We wander through a thicket of glistening tree ferns and smell the soothing balm of sound.
For the last part of our journey the light changes to a pinker tint and we are bathed in the cyclic rays of “Cherry Sunshine”. The music rings joyous and true like a huge bronze bell full of gold dust. This has been a trip brim-full of emotion with tantalising hints of the unexpected. The time has come to return back down to earth so we board our ship and once more belt ourselves in. We can only bring ourselves to leave this place as we know that we can return any time, after all, we were told before we began that “This album bears repeating for repeated plays”. As we land the ship heaves a sigh and rests it’s weary haunches. It knows that we will be back very soon.
Here at YIKIS we love surprises so obviously this is something that we would love to listen to! There is a myriad of choices for this album, you can have a vinyl, a digital, or a vinyl + “a cassette EP of new material courtesy of Seattle’s Gracie Records and Her Car Studio.” We recommend that you take this album for a spin!