Barn Owl: Ancestral Star (Thrill Jockey)
Post-rock duo Barn Owl presents its third proper album of stark guitar-based pieces. It’s my first real exposure to the act, and the tracks that start off Ancestral Star recall the aesthetic of the Kranky label or slowcore mainstays Low. Some tracks such as “Visions of Dust” have backing percussion and sound slightly more fully formed, but nearly every track on the album is focused around a slow, plodding, patient tempo. The real highlights of the album shimmer and drone with glacial ease, such as the title cut that is the anchor of all the remaining tracks. “Twilight” is another handsome, brief piece, all tremolo on piano, guitar and effects. It’s an album best experienced as a whole rather than one-off tracks, certainly — each piece relates well with those before and after it, providing a nice journey from start to finish. Recommended!
Watch/listen: Ancestral Star