Boomkat Product Review:
Chicago’s deepest pop band make up for a five year hiatus with their skin-tingling new album channelling the richest strains of Mark Hollis/Talk Talk, Tindersticks and strung out Arthur Russell vibes.
After leaving us dangling for a new album since 2015’s Show Us The Fire’, the trio’s singer/songwriter Matt Christensen rejoins meditative mates Mike Weis and Brian Harding for another spellbinding album that makes the world fade away for at least its duration. Like their classics for Type, ‘Give It Up’ (2009) and ‘The World Is a House On Fire’ (2012), the six songs on ‘Hold You Up’ linger in the mind like the nostalgia-triggering notes of a long gone scent, with a notable lack of reverb from their previous records allowing a heightened sensitivity for swooning harmonics to intoxicate us to the horizontal.
So subtle in their style of ghostly songwriting that it’s perhaps easy for Zelionople’s music to slip the memory, they really are a treat best served infrequently but intimately, with loved ones, or even solo in order to best immerse in their world. In the right conditions the effect of their songs can be quietly devastating or life affirming, and this one is no different. The lack of reverb feels like the smoke has cleared from their sound stage, bringing into sharper focus Christensen’s near tremulous vocal and the effervescent ambient hush he coaxes out with Weis and Harding.
In the most precious sense, Zelionople are a cult band - the kind you can talk (talk) about with mates who also just know - and while their label may not appreciate us saying it, you almost want to keep it that way; something personal, a preserve, a private treasure map to special, rarified feelings.