Boomkat Product Review:
Utterly classic album - finally available again. The Third album from Kentucky collective Rachel's, this (unsurprisingly) goes for a nautical theme, and few artists have ever managed to represent the unsettling mystery of the sea quite so magically. Effortlessly combining post-classical structures with dense masses of drone and startlingly ghostly field recordings, the opening track is a classic example of this; 'Rhine and Courtesan' begins simply enough with the kind of jaunty blend of strings, guitar and percussion we would expect from the band, but suddenly and without warning the track drowns in a soup of creaks and groans before emerging triumphant some minutes later in a new and surprising form. This kind of risk-taking carries on throughout the disc and tracks are almost impossible to predict, chopping and changing like waves crashing against the rocks. This unpredictability adds to the deeply narrative nature of the album, and simply serves to enhance the theme. 'The Sea and Bells' might not be touted as a concept album, but for all intents and purposes it might as well be. It isn't often when an instrumental record has so much power in conjuring up rich imagery like this, but the Rachel's have had this since their debut 'Handwriting' and they certainly aren't afraid to take their sound to it's logical conclusion. This is without a doubt one of the finest records from a band who would serve as a huge influence to the Constellation family of acts (GYBE, Silver Mount Zion etc) as well as modern post-classical acts such as Clogs and The Books. Totally essential music - just buy it.