If you haven’t heard Aria Jalali- aka Railcars- and what he does with loops and keys, you are in for a treat. His latest album, Cathedral With No Eyes, is an exquisite view into the world of indie noise/fuzz pop, and all that the term entails.
The journey on this album begins with “Life of Saint Edmund (ponds)”, a jangly piece free from corporate restraint, ripe with fluid chords that remind me of something off of Harmonia & Eno ’76. “Life…” brings to mind dragonflies and anime parades, childhood loss and love, all resounding with a giant layer of guitar strumming madness.
Next we have “Castles,” reminiscent of early Stooges’ but with keyboard and drum machine. I don’t know whether to get up and dance or pen a grand romance while listening to this canticle. It has a faster pace, but is equally as graceful as the previous track. It’s a solid second song.
“Passion of Saint Edmund (rebirth)” sparkles with bells and Spencer Krug-esque key chords. Undertones of underwater bliss flow sweetly, until you’re brought up out of the water and are flying through a dense sea of clouds woven with melody. An aptly named track indeed, as I feel music is quite possibly being reborn in the hands of this capable songwriter.
For “Passion of Saint Edmund (miracles)” we move on to another fabulous beat. I love the Handsome Furs-style drum machine here, and the seamless transition from the previous number. It really evokes the idea of one’s life as a journey, and makes you want to hear more.
Luckily for us, we aren’t finished yet, as we now move on to the title expression. “Cathedral With No Eyes” proves my point that every album should have an epic free for all, and this is one of the best I’ve heard in years. It makes me feel as if I’m running down the halls of an ancient abbey being chased by ghosts that turn out to be my friends and we end up having a dance party! Mixed incredibly well (as is the entire album for that matter), this cutthroat piece of music succeeds as a climax rather than allowing the album to fall apart.
Our last stop is with the end, or “Martyrdom of Saint Edmund.” A warm blanket of sound wraps around you, cradling your soul after and arduous journey through a fantastic sonic landscape. This is truly one of the most beautiful ways to end a tumultuous album- in peace.
This album would be pleasant enough when idly listened to, but diving deeper you find that it's truly a unique musical experience, and one I would hope many of you will endeavor to enjoy on your own. His accolades are well-deserved, and I fully believe that we can all expect to hear some more wonderful sounds coming from this guy in the near future. (Including his Hounds of Love - Kate Bush cover album!!!)
Thank you all for reading today's review, and stay tuned for an interview with the man behind the music!
Love and peace,
Go here to listen to some sweet Railcars tunes.