Brightblack Morning Light Brightblack Morning Light

Despite touring and socialising with freakish folkies like White Magic, Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom, Nathan "Nabob” Shineywater and Rachel "Raybob” Hughes sure like to sing the blues and then chase them with diazepam. Known as Brightblack Morning Light on the musical front, these two Alabamans call tents in Northern California home for part of the year, so they certainly play the role of the freak-folk purveyors accordingly. However, one quick listen to their second full-length and debut for Matador and the fact that they host an annual rural music gathering called "Quiet Quiet” won’t be surprising in the least. What would surprise me though is if these nicknamed nomads hadn’t heard a Spiritualized record before, because Brightblack Morning Light is the album Jason Pierce fans have been waiting to hear for nine years. Never reaching full consciousness at any moment throughout its 53 minutes, the serenity Shineywater and Hughes bring to fruition is nothing short of sublime. The multi-layered, dual vocals are drenched in reverb, causing a tranquillity that’s strictly made of an over-the-counter potency. This isn’t music to operate heavy machinery to. "Star Blanket River Child,” especially, packs the most hypnotic punch of them all, clocking in at over ten minutes and repeating the same mesmerising chord for essentially its entirety. And yet, like the rest of the album, it’s one of the most thrilling things I’ve heard all year. (Matador)