“Pale Flower” is actually yesterday’s listen, but I didn’t have time to write about it last night because I got caught up in some incredibly competitive rounds of Spit, a card game that should not be played by sore losers like me. Anyway, this song comes from the 2015 album A Year With 13 Moons (Mexican Summer) by the San Francisco, CA experimental musician Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. The album isn’t exactly an easy listen if you prefer music with traditional hooks, melody, or song structure; in a way, I’d compare Cantu-Ledesma’s music to a Mark Rothko painting. A lot of people look at Rothko’s work, which eschews explicit depictions of landscapes or people in favor of massive blocks of color, and say, “I could do that!” or “A toddler could do that!” or “It takes no skill!” or any number of similar hot takes. The way I see it, though, the point of a Rothko painting is to simply let yourself be immersed in color, an opportunity that you don’t really get in everyday life. In the same way, listening to “Pale Flower” is like being suspended in a deep pool of pure, droning melody, buffeted by blasts of feedback and washed out drum kicks. I listened to it in the car yesterday on the way to Erie, and its enveloping waves of grainy sound helped to block out horrible din of my wheels driving over grooved pavement in a construction zone on the highway. Recommended for fans of drone, ambient, shoegaze, or anyone looking for something a little different from the usual.
More from Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: https://shiningskullstudio.bandcamp.com/