Boomkat Product Review:
After emerging from seemingly nowhere in 2021 with a beautiful debut album of smudged bliss, Celestial reprise their blend of ambient psych blues on a second album for Ecstatic, this time guest-starring label enigma Romance.
Celestial nested a lowkey classic with their first album ‘I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night’ in the hot summer of 2021. ‘Listen to the Sky’ is its spiritual successor, venturing a palpably rawer sound porous to AGFA tape infidelities, imbuing their music with the kind of aged warble that gets right under the skin. The mottled patina blurs their sound to position it in the imagination somewhere between the kind of outsider, homespun curios dug by Pete Swanson & Jed Bindeman’s Freedom To Spend label, Pye Corner Audio’s wood fired synth textures, and BoC and 1991 interludes left to smoke and unspool in a bothy. Frankly it’s gorgeous stuff, set to ratchet their cult status in the nebulous ambient nexus.
Embracing a broader palette of piano, horns and electronics beside their trusted electric guitar strokes, Celestial paint richer soundscapes on the back of the eyelids, employing cannier mixing to make their phrases and figures emerge and recede from the ferric fug like scenery shifting in and out of shallow focus. In effect they skew from the first LP’s Balearic bliss to a more allusive, cinematic feel on the journey between the unfurling loops of ‘Brother Sub, Sister Moon’ ft. Romance, disrupting the serenity with distorted synth brass flares on ‘And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine’, while leaving a deeper impression with the charred widescreen vision of ‘To The Green Mountains’ and heathered tones of ‘Crimson & Clover’.
They really snag the senses with the faded rave riff let to rot on ‘Four Temperaments’ and a possible homage to Coil & Cyclobe’s Ossian Brown in ‘Lament for Ossian’, while ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’ brings proceedings to a close with a gentle gust of elegiac, sweeping atmospherics.