Sunday, September 25, 2011

Album: Upward Arrows - Upward Arrows

Band: Upward Arrows
Album: Upward Arrows
Label: Under The Spire
Year: 2010

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Part Timer's John McCaffrey unveils a new guise for the Under The Spire, delivering an album specifically with that label's agenda in mind. Even the project's name references Under The Spire: "the name Upward Arrows is an allusion to the thousands of church spires that pepper the world, all pointing upwards like arrows aimed at the sky" says McCaffrey. In musical terms McCaffrey has adapted his musical strategy to what he perceives as in-keeping with the Under The Spire sound, venturing into the border territories between the modern classical and ambient genres. Taking as his starting point unfinished pieces from his hard drive, field recordings and even sounds provided by William Ryan Fritch (a contributor to Asthmatic Kitty's Library Catalog Music Series) and the Fourplay String Quartet, McCaffrey takes a step in a new direction without totally abandoning the tone of his established oeuvre. You'll still hear snatches of the kind of fluttering, processed guitars you'd find on a Part Timer record, and a similarly warm, melodious atmosphere is conjured along the way, but Upward Arrows feels a little more ambitious, embracing hazy, Tim Hecker-like expanses of reverb and a kind of slow, stately orchestral feel that at times recalls Stars Of The Lid. Delightful stuff that's sure to please both Part Timer and UtS fans.

Buy (sold out at the moment)

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