A Winged Victory for the Sullen - A Winged Victory for the Sullen (Erased Tapes)
We were talking last month about a new album due out on Erased Tapes, the self-titled debut from A Winged Victory for the Sullen, the collaboration between Stars of the Lid founder Adam Wiltzie and L.A. pianist Dustin O'Halloran. That's a band name which could go either way, ambitious or pompous, depending on the content of the music. You can test the question now by listening to it in full on this link.
A Winged Victory For The Sullen (EXCLUSIVE FULL ALBUM STREAM) by erasedtapes
You'll notice early on that it's completely instrumental and conducted at a moderate to slow pace. I think it's a monumental piece of work, personally. It feels like it has the power to divide the world between the time before you heard it, and the time since. There's a kind of floating, unearthly beauty about it. Starting immediately with the plangent piano chords of We played some open chords and rejoiced... . And the strings with ambient soundscape melancholia of Requiem for the Static King Part One. (That's a tribute to the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse apparently, in whose touring band Wiltzie played, and no tribute could be more fitting.) The gorgeous Steep hills of Vicodin tears was released a few weeks ago but I still can't get enough of its stately swells of violin and cello (courtesy of Peter Broderick and Hildur Gudnadottir) wrapped in oscillating electronics. And let's also mention the glorious, suspended state of grace of the 12 minute A Symphony Pathetique - not a second is wasted. Elsewhere, there are intriguing drones and field recordings that pulse in and out of view. It's ineffable, moving, transformative music, and one part of me thinks it's too beautiful for this dirty world. Nevertheless, essential.
Here's a fan video put together for Steep hills of Vicodin tears.