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LP Feature/ Andrew Liles & Fovea Hex: "Gone Every Evening"

img  Tobias
The beautiful paradox continues. After a trilogy of releases which were as much about sound as they were about songs, equally about secrets and truths and which dealt with heaven, hell, hurt and elation alike, Clodagh Simmonds returns with two tracks which will torture those who can’t live with uncertainty: The more accessible her pieces become, the more they turn evasive. The shorter they are, the more the mystery grows.

On the face of it, “Gone Every Evening” simply continues the gradual transformation of Fovea Hex into a contemporary folk outfit. While listening to“Bloom” was like finding one’s way through a labyrinth of interconnected rooms filled with longing and the scent of memories and “Huge” sought to reconsile the disparity between joy and trouble in a tidal wave of stirred-up emotions, “Allure” felt like the process of reharmonising oneself with the world after spending too much time in one’s own thoughts. Objects were tangible again, words could again be spoken, there was a definite form and function to everything.

If hope loomed beyond this horizon and the insatiable hunger of life seemed allayed for some time, Simmonds’ latest offering proves these sentiments wrong. The hermetic seclusion of the lyrics on her “neither speak nor remain silent” trilogy has made way for haunting cinematography and drama, while the sense of being caught in incomprehensible loops outside one’s own control has remained.

Somehow, everything is bigger here, even though arrangements are sparser and purer than ever. On “While you’re away”, Simmonds only went down to the river to watch the stars, now she is headed for the ocean and the glow of the firmament is a mirror to her inner self catching fire: “Fade the days out/ Only evenings bring me something I’ll remember... / Every evening we go strolling out of the house and all the way down to the shore”, she sings between lament and infinite anticipation on “Every Evening”, a song which seems to deal with the fact that nothing compares to the magical moments when the trivial and transient nature of life is transformed into an eternal truth.

On “Gone”, she confronts herself with the thought of loosing everything and the question of routine slowly swallowing every sense of meaning. Upon waking, the trees in her garden have vanished, her house is empty: “What have I done?/ Where have I been these years and years? / Week in week out the same old song, the same old rug beneath my feet”, narrator Fabrizio Palumbo observes as if in a trance, before realsing that even the last fortress and final refuge has disappeared: “When I woke up this morning no rugs – not even any floor.”

As always, there are guests. Michael Begg provides “Ambient Tinting” and Laura Sheeran delivers a haunting performance on “Gone”, her piercing, disembodied screams hurting like naked flesh being struck by a hammer. But most importantly, “Gone Every Evening” is marked by the sounds and melodies of Andrew Liles. On both tracks, he lays down subliminal soundscapes and swooning Piano themes, sometimes played against each other or returning with slight variations in mood and timbre. It is these memorable motives which clearly structure the music and provide it with a fine Pop sensibility, even though the vortex-like depth of the arrangements swallows all thoughts of easy enjoyment.

If previous releases were already lavishly packaged (everyone who’s seen the luxurious black box containing the first three EPs and accompanying bonus discs will know what I’m talking about), “Gone Every Evening” takes this obsession to new heights. The 7’’ Vinyl disc comes sheilded by a soft envelope, which in turn fits into a gateway cover adorned by prints, images and lyrics. It is the physical manifestation of yet another wondrous paradox: The more openly it speaks about pain, the more consoling it is to own the music of Fovea Hex.

By Tobias Fischer

Homepage: Fovea Hex
Homepage: Die Stadt Records
Homepage: Janet Records

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