A Sunny Day in Glasgow Ashes Grammar
Published Sep 22, 2009Philadelphia, PA's A Sunny Day In Glasgow made their introduction as prolific sound sculptors back in 2007 with the Scribble Music Journal LP and Tout New Age EP. With celestial sounds that had people reaching for genre tags like "shoegaze" and "dream pop," ASDIG demonstrated that their music was more deserving of the "unclassifiable" tag on iTunes downloads. Ashes Grammar, their second full-length, reinforces this ambiguity, as the six-piece continue to push their amorphous music into a sound collage built from resounding guitars, drum loops, samples and heaving layers of sound. With as much love for din as melody, there are heavy nuances of the two synergizing, best heard on "Blood White," which injects dissonant frequencies into bubbling ambient textures. But more than anything, soaring melodies and leftfield rhythms dominate Ashes Grammar's core. "Close Chorus" extends the club rhythms of My Bloody Valentine's "Soon," pushing the ethereal vocals into chorale tones, and "Shy" ignites a motorik beat that descends into some mesmerizing, sunken harmonies. There's a faint motif at work, with transitory interludes peppered throughout, most effectively on the ebb-and-flow alliance of "Ashes Grammar" and "Ashes Maths." Ashes Grammar is a dizzying, divine burst of innovative studio magic that sounds unlike anything else of the moment.
Scribble Music Journal was recorded in a bedroom. How did working in a dance studio change how this album was made?
Multi-instrumentalist Ben Daniels: It was really wonderful to have a big space you could go to and make lots of noise and move microphones around and generally do whatever you wanted to. It was really nice not to have to worry about neighbours complaining or the police coming or stuff like that.
How are the songs composed? Is there any set process, because it's such an avalanche of textures?
Vocalist Annie Fredrickson: I would think of the process as more of a controlled avalanche, like a controlled burn. It builds up but never gets out of control.
The album has 22 tracks. What made you make it so lengthy?
Daniels: We actually cut another 11 songs from the record! But it's this long because this is what made sense. It seems complete to me this way. A few of the 22 songs could be thought of as one song, in that they flow into each other. But to me, this is how the songs needed to be broken up. It honestly didn't hit me how anachronistic and cumbersome the record kind of is in these digital times until it was done. (Mis Ojos Discos)