Album Reviews

Psalmships: Kronotsky [Album Review]

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Kronotsky by Psalmships opens with a soft hum that remains so throughout opening track “Resurrectionist”, building and growing subtly with the clash of post-rock drone meets minimalist folk. It’s a slight departure from the true minimalism of which those familiar with Josh Britton’s music know well, and it continues in “Smaller Constellation”, a song title pulled from an album Britton released under earlier moniker The Sweetheart Parade. Combining the world of drone-friendly folk with the sensibilities of ethereal minimalist drone may not seem groundbreaking, but they are in Kronotsky. The album has an eerie nature to it that is downright haunting.

The change is significant; from soft, airy acoustic guitar strums to dreamy discordant tones. What remains the same is Britton’s deep, distant wail. But not all the acoustics are gone. They crop up occasionally in Kronotsky, like in “Stars Pt. 2” after a static-y beginning. What’s astonishing is that Britton maintains his original influences to the point of being steadfast, while creating something entirely new and different from that which he’s created before. Kronotsky is fresh and exciting in all its downtrodden glory. It is easily the best work Britten has given us to date. And the entire album is like this!

This album is basically what you’d get if you were to combine the soft moments of Explosions in the Sky with a stripped down version of Thee Silver Mount Zion and front the entire project by Jason Molina. It’s haunting, sorrowful, beautiful, and illuminating. As Britton repeats Save me from this pain over and over in “Sawgrass”, you’ll get swept away with emotion. And that leads into heavy beats and the overpowering tones of an organ in “Sparrowful Sorrow”. “Carrying Stones” even has a hint of jazz shuffle. It’s hard to imaging a greater progression taking place; Kronotsky aptly demonstrates that Britton has found the sound that sets him apart from his influences.

Download: “Stars Pt. 2” by Psalmships

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Psalmships: Kronotsky

[CD, 2010]

1. Resurrectionist
2. Smaller Constellation
3. Stars Pt. 2
4. Little Bird
5. Sawgrass
6. Sparrowful Sorrow
7. Good Graces
8. Carrying Stones
9. You Are A Willow
10. Lapwig & Grizzly

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