DREAM WEATHER ITS ELECTRIC SONG
BY HALF SHADOW
is out October Second on Illusion Florist Records
Dream Weather Its Electric Song, the first proper Half Shadow album to find release, takes the most enigmatic aspects of the project—the ever-evolving songwriting apparatus of Portland’s Jesse Carsten—and uses them to create an immersive world in which to bathe. Like an esoteric dream journal expanded into the reaches of the sonic, Dream Weather invokes a lunar sphere in which all things hum with electricity, and the air is alive with sound and speech. Blooming within a landscape of midnight-blue rock, Half Shadow’s sound palette spills over with liquid basslines, polyrhythmic hand drums, and crystalline vocal harmonies, composing a complete cosmos. At times raw, minimal, or softly psychedelic, the record resonates as a dream swelling into daylight vision, wrapping listeners in dark, sparkling hues and mossy undergrowth.
Recorded over the course of a year in two different rooms of Carsten’s home—a spare, wooden meditation room and a small, shared art studio piled with scrawled notes, hand drums and cymbals—Dream Weather Its Electric Song harbors the quiet, earthy reverbs of home and the dense echoes of the environment surrounding it. Actively blending the phenomenal and the personal, these songs weave a dreamscape of body and weather. Singing into the approach of a storm on one of the album’s two title tracks, Carsten intones “Can you feel it, in the blood? Charges pulsing, rearranging ions / Am I dreaming your electric song? / My electric body hums along.” Dream Weather solicits this kind of reciprocal psychic experience in which there is no separation between dreamer and dream, self and other, mind and macrocosm.
Half Shadow has always played in the space of the mysterious but with Dream Weather Carsten finally steps into the masterful position of melding the imperceptible with the accessible, cloaking the unseen in catchy art-music. Half Shadow’s songs linger in the zone between waking and sleep, treading a personal path of piscean vision. “I’m teeming with luminescence / and silken rhythm sighs / when I’m waking in the morning / from the dream I drank last night.” These lyrics urge an embrace of the undiscovered spaces of the human psyche, the untrod places, brimming with unexpected treasure. Dream Weather Its Electric Song stages a powerful sonic coup—listeners may simply think they’re having a taste of the new Half Shadow record but unconsciously they’ve been ushered into a real, living dream. They may even find that it’s their own.