reviewed by Jack Derricourt
Ivory Towers creates ghostly tunes full of dark mirth. The Vancouver-based ghostly mermaid puts together samples and synths in her new release Vile that is immensely pleasing to the ear.
There are treats all over this release, with a lot of different styles present — despite a fairly constant cast of layered vocals, droning synth lines, and faster-paced melodic lines. “Purity Control” hints at drugs and eugenics —”We’re not supposed to talk about it” — with the same kind of playful dirge work found on opener “Hel’s Belles.” The tracks manage to massage darkness into quizzical compositions, contorting darker themes and sounds until they become light through the process.
“Aether Ore” is probably the most playful piece on the album, as it swirls with cave sounds, twirling voices and compelling, distant rhythms trapped beneath the layers of synth.
“The Midgard Serpent (Intro)” is a prelude to the plunging teeth of excavators grasping into the ground, and the track streams smoothly into closer “Barnacles Have No True Heart”. The latter appropriately feels like a submarine expedition, with depth built into the vocals and the cascading synth melodies. “Barnacles” also has the most twee collection of quivering vocals and triangles on offer in Canada this side of 2017.
Everything on this album builds a region for the music to live within, an ecosystem of distance and comparison. If you want something expansive to listen to, you would not go wrong grabbing a copy of this wonderful album.
Top Track: “Aether Ore”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)