Lore City: Alchemical Task

Laura Mariposa Williams and Eric Angelo Bessel are Lore City, an art rock duo from Portland, OR, whose magnificent third full length, Alchemical Task, has just been out, showcasing both the band's songwriting sturdiness and their evolution, since the entire record feels like a firm creative endeavor, all fully fledged but also open to interpretation, and suitable to score different kinds of moods. The new album was recorded late last year at Lore City’s studio in their hometown, and produced by the band.

Composed of six songs, most of which run lengthy and go comfortably beyond the six minute mark, Alchemical Task, is an apt representation of the worrying times we're going through and the pensiveness which comes aplenty as the word is progressively verging on the modern apocalypse which thus far has been closer to fiction than reality.

Separateness begins Alchemical Task in a dreamlike manner, establishing a somber tone, and making the record's subtle dreampop foundation crystal clear. Progressions, smart use of repetitiveness and a lot of audacious experimentation become defining attributes of Lore City's sound, as the band's style of composition offers more than enough space for the listener to become immersed into their almost meditative and elusive creative power.

The brilliant It’s All Happening takes a darker direction, suggesting influences from Swans' later period, as well as the darkly ethereal numbers on the catalog of 4AD, together with an artful turn toward post rock and darkwave. Although it's not the only focal point, the song has the aura of a milestone and an album centerpiece, and its ten minute fullness doesn't let up.

The more optimistic Beacon of Light is a concise cut whish plays out like an interlude, leaning toward a more idealized aspect of existentialism and appearing lyrically assured, to be followed by Into Your Blue, another poetic highlight which strikes post punk-bent, while glimpses of the direct pop sensibilities in the duo's songwriting style can also be detected. 

Beyond Done re-enters the darker post rock territories at which Lore City excel, keeping a steadily moody pace and building toward a culminating point which may never surface, yet, that lack of an eruptive moment is evened out by the stately blend of excellent lyricism, hazy vocals and downright immersive instrumentals.

Album closer, Don’t Be Afraid, is the epitome of that peculiar balance between darkness and light which the whole record carries, with the elegiac vocal delivery standing out, resembling a more daring Siouxsie or a milder Elizabeth Fraser, and being the primary of the reasons why the song, and consequently the entire album, keeps echoing in the air even after its conclusion.

Band photo courtesy of Lore City

Lore City Website 

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