Joyful Noise Recordings (label)
12 June 2020 (released)
12 June 2020
Chicago duo Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart (with Matt Carroll on beats and skins) return to the artistic fray with 'Fantasize Your Ghost'.
Showing that they are a group more than the some its ‘Parts’ (2018’s debut album) there’s a reassuringly, refreshingly gauzy, hazy, woozy 90s indie-stheitc on this album. Think Throwing Muse Kristin Hersh’s’ open-hearted and acknowledged cathartic confession-all schizophonica, her half-sister Tanya Donnelly’s delirious and imperious Belly-aching to the present day of St. Vincent’s hyper-reality theatricality. An ADHD 3D-HD-4AD evocation if you like.
Opener ‘Flood your gut’ is a wiry two-handed toing and froing, setting the tone for the album, the pair’s stitched-in-sync vocals coming and going, effortlessly bouncing off, pronouncing and announcing equally complementing and complimenting. The spindly stop-start guitars meet their comeuppance with an abrupt blockade as the words ‘Your own visions/not enough’ echo out and around. That’s you told.
‘Ghost’ is an electro-driven groover in the vein of Joy Division’s mechanistic grimscapes with the light’s glimmer-shimmer showing you the escape routes.
‘Spell it out’ is a slow-burning, folk-soul turning aside to a home-shirker, a down-at-heel good-for-nothing unnamed other whose inability to share the domestic burden is taking its toll: as piled dishes symbolise the pain of strain, the pleading line ‘there’s sixteen ways you’ve figured out to quickly kill my spirit’ articulating that disparity breeds c-o-n-t-e-m-p-t.
This is an album concerned with the philosophical parts of existence, the existential day-to-day minutiae that get you quickly down (and slowly up) and the homesick feeling of nostalgia (what is ‘home’ when/if you’re never ‘there’?) when you’re perennially on the road, on the go, too fast too slow with nary a second to think about tomorrow.
This is an album that deals with a life at the apex, the next decisions made the most decisive: whether it’s the not being able to ‘go back’ of ‘The Limit’, the glitchy-twitchy wordless ‘Sturgeon Moon’ or the metronomic psycho-dramatic ‘3 2 4 3’ that addresses the daily personality crisis of navigating forwards from yesterday’s shackles: ‘looked in the mirror the other day, caught my reflection, my mind had moved a different way’.
Closer the country-charmed ‘After all’ seems to suggest that at the end of the day, for all the faultlines and booby-traps of enduring life/love, that you just need to ‘seek your cocoon’, what, where or whomever that might be.