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The Cellophane Heart – The Dark Becomes The Light

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Brooding and clattering, The Dark Becomes The Light is The Cellophane Heart’s sprawling album, balancing raw emotion, fragile beauty, and gives a lot of room for some interesting experimentation.

Opening with ‘Hemo’, things are immediately dark and catastrophic sounding, with heavy bass sitting up front and The Cellophane Heart’s Jer giving a vocal performance that is impassioned and gritty. Moving in to ‘Come Forward And Claim Me’, the instrumentation takes a different turn, with electronics and synthesis. When the guitars kick in, the track begins to sound more like something in the vein of Guided By Voices, Apples In Stereo, even a bit of My Bloody Valentine is there with the pedalled notes that run as a drone through the song.

‘Your Art Will Kill You’ continues to use creative methods, the delay on the guitar forming a tumbling ebb and flow of tone that at points begins to sound like violins, while ‘What Is Really Scaring You’ pulls together the electronics and the guitars together effectively, building a mantra-like chant which gets bagpipe-like at points, trip-hoppy like late 90s Beck and Forest For The Trees. It’s clear by this point that this is an album that is on a journey of creative process, not afraid to try out new ideas and inviting the listener to join in with the investigation.

‘The Quiet & The Alone’ is possibly the most lo-fi moment on the album, with its wiry indie guitars and hipster vocal, while ‘Ted’s Invention’ has spluttering, explosive guitars that wouldn’t be out of place on the Eels debut record Beautiful Freak. The Mark Everett kinship is clearer on ‘The Oxidation Process’, beautiful, fragile, and distant, with vocals that have nowhere to hide and carry the song to emotional heights.

The Dark Becomes The Light might not be the most accessible easy listen that you’ve come across for a while, but in many ways that is a large part of its value. This is an album of weight, effort, and consideration, and one that invites the listener to settle down and invest some time to engage with its message and creativity.

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