Joyful Noise Recordings (label)
20 June 2022 (released)
20 June 2022
This third album ‘Emerald Sea’ by audio-visualists Sound of Ceres is a concept album like no other - if you choose to exclude their previous efforts on 2016’s ‘Nostalgia for Infinity’ that philosophically fused Marcel Proust with ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ – that is.
Continuing to address heady and metaphysical themes such as space, place, time, purpose, fate, existence, heavenly bodies, it’s a sonic fairy-tale divided into three elements: The Void, The Deep and The Firmament. Both the fantasy paperback album cover and Sasha Geffen’s program notes neatly add further poetic structure to the images the s(urr)ounds iridescently invoke.
The group, comprised of Derrick Bozich, songwriter, harpist, and flautist; Jacob Graham, synthesist, costumer, and light designer; Karen Hover, (who goes by the pseudonym k) vocalist, lyricist, costumer, and choreographer and Ryan Hover, songwriter and producer (both formerly in Candy Claws) deliver a magical, mythological, mystical, theatrical alternate reality. One where ambience, transience, omniscience combine with searching inwards, reaching outwards, gazing upwards, above and beyond in attempts to make sense of it all: what ‘is’ life, living, doing, being? Making existential enquiries that necessitate the provision of cold facts, hard answers, fundamental truths.
Deriving and divining inspiration from disparate sources as Maurice Ravel's ballet Daphnis et Chloé, Gustav Holst's The Planets, and Les Baxter's mid-century exotica escapades the (enlight)end experience is one of dream-pop meets cinematic soundscapes (think Cranes’ fin-essence meets Broadcast’s ghostly voxing) or orchestral lit-pop with Virginia Astley’s 1986 ‘Hope in darkened heart’ springing to mind.
The Universe (narrated in stentorious fashion by fellow vis-com artist Marina Abramović) and Venus, transformer of matter and avatar of love (ethereally whispered by the group's lead vocalist k) are embroiled in a game of celestial cat and mouse, star-crossed lovers in pursuit of one another, a space-opera Romeo and Juliet.
Crucially, with a prose and concept form such as this it defies the breaking up of its components into individual parts, split and separated from its environment of creation, wrenched from deeper meaning and left to wander lonely on a cloud. To fully grasp the depth and breadth of its admirably pretentious intentions, sit back, press play and prepare for lift off.