We commissioned Matt Krefting, writer/musician/western-Mass resident, to reflect on his thoughts of our two upcoming Charalambides reissues. Here is his take on Glowing Raw..
"One night in Western Massachusetts, Christina and Tom Carter were following me back to my place after they’d played a show. Most likely, I’d set it up for them, but I don’t remember anymore. As we caravanned through cornfields, as South Hadley turned into South Amherst, I watched the taillights of a car far in front of me, two glowing red eyes in the distance. It felt pleasant and still, as late nights often do.
The serenity of the moment turned to sudden alarm as I saw the lights turn slowly, and then suddenly, I flashed forward a few seconds to what I was certain would be a terrible crash. I could see the car spinning. Almost immediately, the lights reappeared right where they should have been, and I realized that the combination of a curve in the road and a telephone pole had obscured things just so and created a briefly perceived moment of dread, only to open into an expanse of relief.
It is somewhat apropos that Christina and Tom were in the car behind me, since there is something of this illusory, dreadful magic in their music. I told no one of the mirage at the time, and I’ve told no one since, but listening to this record today, all these years later, I feel as though I’m right back in that car on that dark night. Terror is present but fleeting. Relief exists with all its attendant pleasure; yet, relief can only emerge in the wake of tension.
This is a record full of such intricacies.
The opening, funereal chiming guitar of “Vanity Look in Passing” seems to start in the middle of an eternity of its own making. Christina’s voice enters like a beacon, stunning, almost shocking.
“Do You Believe?” wields the sorcery of repetition, unchanging yet shifting, unafraid of what the strange space they’ve created might contain. As Christina’s voice starts to float, Tom’s saxophone enters, and the two converse in a language all their own.
“Give Me Jesus” is a powerfully stark recording of Christina alone. Her wavering voice and skeletal guitar figures capture the ghostly nature of faith, doubt, and the much more present state that lies in between.
“Beneath the Fractured Trees” is haunting and off-kilter in equal measure, a demented singsong of sorts. More private ritual than song, its twelve minutes feel much shorter.
“The Solider Glowing Raw” sets a chiming rhythm against Christina’s mourning. Slowly, Tom opens his clanging to the more majestic possibilities of his fretwork, and as the piece expands, two birds in the sky are suddenly joined by thousands, bursting open like fireworks in slow motion, echoing their own calls to a nameless nothing.
Charalambides’ music carries the curious quality of being tethered only by itself. They don’t pull music(s) in as much as they reach out to touch them, and in so doing, they conjure a place that exists only when they play. The music shies neither from traditionalism nor formlessness."
- Matt Crafting, Holyoke, MA, 2015
With an official release date of May 13, 2016, both Charalambides albums can be pre-ordered at our Bandcamp site. For a limited time, we are selling both LPs as a package deal at a discounted rate. See the following links for more information:
Charalambides – Strangle the Wretched Heavens LP
Charalambides – Glowing Raw LP
Charalambides – Package Deal for Both LPs