Stare At Your Shoes-Brightblack Morning Light-All We Have Broken Shines

Brightblack Morning Light is a Northern California freak-folk duo whose members have done such hippyish things as lived in a chicken coop, recorded using solar power, and organized amplifier-free music festivals. Their 2006 self-titled album contains a series of subdued, psychedelic jams full of hazy keyboard, weeping slide guitar, and ambling percussion. Nathan Shineywater and Rachael Hughes intertwine their sleepy voices until they become one entity, harmonizing about rain, canyons, owls, and rivers. The songs blend together into a unified meditation on nature and our place within it; it’s like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Rachel Carson formed a blues duo and recorded an album in a sweat lodge. It’s almost as if there’s one root note anchoring the entire album, like a mystical, subterranean river, and Carson and Shineywater dip their instruments into it again and again, melting individual tracks down into a larger whole. “All We Have Broken Shines” is as good an example of this album as any, but I recommend listening to it all at once.

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