Students Of Decay
CAROLINE NO - No Language LP
Recorded in early 2015 and originally released as a micro edition cassette on World News Records, No Language is the debut collection of songs by Melbourne’s Caroline No. The group’s unique, beguiling sound sits somewhere between archetypal Dunedin pop and languorous, textural improvisation. No Language was spontaneously recorded with one microphone and the serendipity of the session proves tactile in the listening experience. We hear heavily reverbed laughter, coughing, fits and starts with various processing equipment, all of which contribute wonderfully to the ephemeral nature of the music. On “Up To Downtown” vocalist Caroline Kennedy implores the band to “just try to stay in time” before lurching into what, against all odds, turns out to be a remarkably anthemic earworm of a pop song. Closer “Roomer” incorporates granular processing (perhaps a pedal someone forgot they’d brought to the session) to endearing and startling effect. Ultimately, No Language is a marvelous balancing act of a record, drawing from pop, free improv, and psychedelia in equal parts to arrive at something timeless.