Matt Krefting on Strangle The Wretched Heavens...

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 Strangle the Wretched Heavens...

"Why even look to the so-called heavens, let alone want to strangle the poor things?

The heavens…

What does it all mean? The lonely cluster of stars we gaze upon in the loneliness of youth? An unseen place from which a divine entity authors and judges the blathering mess of day-to-day activities? A catchall phrase for the most wondrous and unnamable natural phenomena? No matter how you slice it, the heavens make us feel small, whether or not they’re inspiring us to greater thoughts or deeds; or simply mocking us from a distant perch of experience. Have you ever had a moment that made you want to strangle the wretched heavens?

The music washes across the room, pouring from the speakers, filling physical and temporal space as it plays out. As Christina Carter’s voice meets Tom Carter’s guitar, the questions become their own answers.

On the final track of Charalambides’ album Market Square, Christina intones “Someday you’ll get yours.” As poignant as that album is, it’s the most evocative moment. She could be talking to a specific situation, or she could be singing across centuries, leveling oceans of human unfairness, rendering every inequity on the same plane, bringing ghostly justice to bear on all that we have managed to engineer in our brief tenure on this earth. It’s a spirit that finds a mirror in this album you hold in your hands.

Perhaps one doesn’t so much need to wonder why one might desire to strangle the heavens in all their wretchedness – that impulse seems as human and ancient as any – but rather what the results might be. Might the heavens, in all their many-faced wonder and deceit, once withered, offer some new realm of possibility? In a world beyond the need for catharsis, how might life, both interactive and private, begin again? The heavens…

Might it be that time doesn’t exist at all? Might it be that distance is elastic? Might the living and the dead move back and forth as they like? Might experiences arise in certain lives and occur in others as distant memory? Might a mile really be only 5,000 miles?

We could get lazy and use words like “spectral” or “haunting,” but those words open neither ears nor hearts. This music is every bit as supernatural as it is grounded, and what it does, ultimately, is move according to its own internal logic, as our feelings move according to their own internal logic. That is what keeps Charalambides’ music relevant, what makes it timeless. It doesn’t prey on simple nostalgia or easily defined categories of manufactured emotion. It’s proven time and time again that it’s neither overly tethered to, nor an escape from, reality. These songs map a private language, a place of their own making, mysterious and alluring to anyone who hears them. They turn any number of worlds, with all attendant expectations, on their heads, acting as a platform for mobile, twirling, ineffable feeling."

- Matt Krefting, 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


Author: Jeff Kuykendall