Crystal Shipsss Returns With Beautiful Yet Haunting Album
Behind one-man project Crystal Shipsss, is Danish songwriter Jacob Faurholt, whose album “I Will See No Moon No Sky” is set for release on 1st June Raw Onion/Resonans. Anyone familiar with Faurholt’s Crystal Shipsss project will know to expect a pysch-induced mix of ambient sound with distinctively eerie, yet soothing, vocals.
The latest Crystal Shipsss album takes on a darker sound than before; it is heavy on distortion, but retains the distinctive experimental vibe of previous material. All about breaking up and breaking down, “I Will See No Moon No Sky” comes in at just under 36 minutes, with six tracks of beautifully curated sound that rouses up the feeling of dull heart ache and isolation.
The album opens with "METAL", perhaps the most upbeat track, and also noticeably the shortest at just over two minutes. The opener acts as transition between previous Crystal Shipsss material and what to expect with this album which, by "DEER", becomes apparent. The second track opens with Faurholt’s echoey vocals and starts off rather slow, but the distorted guitar that lurks in the background soon comes to the forefront of the track. The fuzziness of the guitar gives way half way through "DEER" for the illuminating sound that continues for the remaining four minutes.
This carries on into "DRUM", which gradually builds itself up into a somewhat drone metal induced track. It remains, however, safely in Crystal Shipsss territory with Faurholt’s distinctive vocals fading in and out amongst the grueling reverb.
For all the drone metal feel of "DRUM", it is "CROWN" that brings the album to its deepest and darkest point. Coming in at seven minutes, "CROWN" is a truly murky track, with its distortion and fuzzy synthesizers. Faurholt’s vocals do not persevere as they do in previous tracks, however; rather, we hear snatches of his heavily warped voice.
For all the overwhelming despair that "CROWN's" experimental sound induces, there is a perfected crispness to it, despite the haze. "II" comes across as a more upbeat track in light of the depths that previous tracks plunged. Yet, against the backdrop of the relatively fast-paced drums, the distorted guitar retains the anguish that prevails throughout “I Will See No Moon No Sky”. Faurholt’s repetition of ‘what does it all mean’, laced with a sense of fragility, haunts even after the track ends. The final track, "HEAD", succeeds in drawing the album to a close on a slightly more upbeat note with its ambiance.
All in all, the latest album by Crystal Shipsss is beautiful, yet haunting. At points, it is an unexpectedly strange listen, even for someone familiar with previous Crystal Shipsss’ material. This is, however, no bad thing; the more extreme elements of experimentation on the album epitomize that sense of breaking up and breaking down that 'I Will See No Moon No Sky' is all about.
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Words by Ellie Brown