Boomkat Product Review:
Beautifully haunting ambient/shoegaze nocturnes from Zelionople's Matt Christensen. RIYL Loren Connors, Matt Johnson, Talk Talk, Angelo Badalamenti, the first Verve EP, late night listening.
Honeymoons is a warbling, plangent shoegaze beauty from Matt Christensen - the ever-comforting voice and lead guitarist of Chicago’s Zelionople - making up his 3rd solo side since the incandescent glow of A Cradle In The Bowery, back in 2011.
Much like his other band, Zelionople - whose Brian Harding also contributes to Honeymoons - Christensen’s output is generally reserved to a slow and steady trickle of releases of a naturally high quality, adding up to a small yet deeply precious catalogue of distinguished, personalised takes on dust-bowl Americana filtered with subtle electronic treatments that sensitively frame his luminous but sparingly used vocals.
We’d posit that Honeymoons denotes his quietest, most refined solo material to date, inflected with subtly daring experimentation and gilded with an electronic ambience that’s almost guaranteed to spark piloerect reactions with sensitive souls. It’s strung out but not smacky; liminal yet lucid; minimal in its make-up but as wide as the night is dark; coursing with a comfortably lonely, detached spirit.
Guided by an ever present sehnsucht, the phosphorescing guitar strokes of Honeymoons open out in a spider’s webs of echo underpinned by swooning pulses, with vocals timed like stuttering confessions drawn out over coffee which has long gone cold, before the smudged, uncannily Autechrian synth chimes and vertiginous reverbs of Sometimes mingle with his signature acoustic tones to emulate something like Talk Talk recording in an abandoned belfry.
The warm electronic bedding of I’m See Through likewise offers a delectably sensual new aspect to his sound that again recalls arch ambient classics in the gauzy, SAW-like vision of Los Angeles, so that by the point of closure, the folk spectre of Let Me In hardly has to ask twice...