CD, Plastic Sound Supply, 2009
I never thought that a day would come where I’d be reviewing what can only be loosely described as an Americana album for Connexion Bizarre, but that day has come. That release in question is “(O)” by Wentworth Kersey, a duo from Denver, Colorado in the USA, and who have a sound that is like shoegazer, post rock, americana… And utterly gorgeous it is too!
The opening track, “Adore”, starts off with a trumpet fused, softly lilting song, that leads the listener into “(O)” on a very relaxed ride, straight into “Wealth” which sounds much more epic than any other Americana track I’ve heard, with church bells and a slowly building orchestral sound that seems to come in waves with an unexpectedly upbeat chorus. “Teton Mountains” is about as shoegaze as you’re likely to get which brings to mind more Mogwai than say, Fleet Foxes – loads of layered guitars, brass and ethereal sounding vocals going on, but with a slight twist.
“Brief Symphony” is like Ryan Adams when he was much more country than he is now, and that’s no bad thing in itself – it’s so charming, and has a very singable chorus. “Empty Mall/Dead Mall” scared the hell out of me on first listen; it has a twinkling toy piano sound to lull you in to a false sense of security, and then it sounds like the tape is being mangled – it’s like the soundtrack to the part in a horror movie just before the monster attacks and as unnerving as any Coil track I’ve ever heard. “Worms” carries on with the slightly scary atmospherics, but layers beautiful vocals over the top to make it easier to take. Ending on “Wild” far, far too soon (but “(O)” is only the second EP of a three-EP set) easing back into the easy, Americana presented at the beginning.
If you like music by the likes of Mogwai, Fleet Foxes and Ryan Adams, you won’t go far wrong with this latest release by Wentworth Kersey. For me, I think this is gorgeous, as it touches you on so many different levels and emotions. The only bad thing I have to say is that it’s too short.
– Kate Turgoose