sabato 18 febbraio 2012

Mothlite - Dark Age (2012)

Il progetto solista di Daniel O'Sullivan - membro degli Ulver e collaboratore con Sunn O))), Guapo, Æthenor, Miracle e Grumbling Fur - denominato Mothlite, darà alla luce il nuovo album Dark Age il 14 maggio. O'Sullivan qui sperimenta una specie di post rock che guarda agli anni '80, con influenze riconducibili a nomi come Talk Talk, Japan e Cocteau Twins.

If O’Sullivan’s first album as Mothlite, The Flax Of Reverie, used ambient folk to explore themes of childhood, Dark Age is an intense and grandiose confrontation of the crises of adult life and the self. It sees O’Sullivan, perhaps for the first time, defining his own musical identity. “It was about trying to be fearless with my reference points, and forgetting where I am in terms of a musical context,” he says. “I don’t feel confined to any style. I like trying all different types of music.”

This fits the vivid themes that imbue Dark Age, described by O’Sullivan as “Dark megalomania, contradictions and paradoxes, and general bleakness”. But rarely is such darkness of subject matter delivered with the soaring pop aplomb of the twelve tracks featured here. If it leaps around from the sparkle, rumble and cheeky whistle of ‘The Blood’ or the epic washes of ‘The Underneath’ and the exultant ‘Something In The Sky’. As O’Sullivan explains, this is all part of the fractured spirit that was behind Dark Age. “It’s not mindless megalomania; it’s very concerted or assertive. Every song contradicts the next. There might be one with a lot of pomp, a celebration of secrecy, and then another that’s very confessional and broken, a consequence of the song before. It’s a lap of that kind of distraught, slightly maddened sensibility.”

This was done to give the album its contrast in moods. ”If it was too bleak, with melancholy overriding the whole thing, then I’d counteract it with a huge chorus or huge hook,” he says. These “huge hooks” were inspired by those that he’d find in his parents’ record collection from the likes of The Eurythmics, Tears For Fears and Kate Bush, but also the industrial and gothic textures of DAF, Coil, The Cure and Dead Can Dance. This was combined with a desire to go back to his musical roots in hardcore punk “to bring in some of that energy and level of desperation into something a bit more considered.”

All this energy served its purpose, as writing and recording Dark Age was a cathartic experience. “You know when you’re blindly living out your life and doing really stupid shit,” he says “The only perspective you get is by working, writing something or making music about it. That in a sense is the only window from the outside looking in, otherwise you’re just literally in it.” The album came together at a time of severe emotional turmoil, witnessing both the birth of O’Sullivan’s daughter but also the contemporaneous separation with her mother. “I believe that all this secrecy and subterfuge will be passed on, even if it is on a very subliminal level,” he says. “I was terrified of all that. That did influence a lot of the lyrics.” This is explored in constant references to the natural world and the animal kingdom, in track titles (‘Red Rook’, ‘Zebras’, and lyrics “as the vultures stalk the ground...”) alike. Through this, O’Sullivan explores how we’re not as far from the animals as we might like to think, connected by the same environment and at heart, base instincts. “The other images that keep coming up are blood and milk; bodily fluids.” The Dark Age cover art is inspired by “blood consciousness” and created by Ian Johnstone, a late-period member of Coil.

Now the album is done, O’Sullivan is ready to move onto new things.”To be honest, I’m really glad that it’s over,” he says. “I felt like I couldn’t move until I got that out there.” As well as plans for a new Mothlite record, this forward surge includes exploring “ideas and schemes” as to how Dark Age will transfer to the road. “Now that the drama has played out and everyone can see what it is, I can almost do a theatrical version of the scenes within. I don’t want to look as though I’m crying down the microphone night after night if we go on tour. I’d rather have a show.”


1. Wounded Lions
2. Disappear
3. Seeing In The Dark
4. The Blood
5. Something In The Sky
6. The Underneath
7. Zebras
8. Dreamsinter Nightspore
9. Milk
10. Dark Age
11. Red Rook

Mothlite - Something in the Sky (from Dark Age) by Kscope

Nessun commento: