Painted Girl - Familiar Trees of the North West
Familiar Trees of the North West
May 22, 2022
There is a familiar thickness of atmosphere on love in the time of lowercase. Over a year has passed since regime of calm, and the artist seems to have become all the more austere in their delivery. This new release feels more incidental in its flow, the overwhelming sense is that one track seeps into the next. This is fairly dissimilar to the 2019 release in the sense that Cacero Lazo seemed more eager to shepherd us into a clear song structure with no question as to where exactly we were. Whereas here, it is almost as if we sit patiently in the darkness as incidental sounds and rhythms buffet towards us.
Songs like the opener O’ and Bastard a bit further in take their time when it comes to delivery. The artist builds a strange atmosphere before revealing any indication as to where the tuneful cadences and purposeful rhythms lie. This helps the album to flow seamlessly, which suits Cacero Lazo’s abstract and whirling style.
Wrapt, Bee feels like the first purposeful attempt at breaking up the avant-garde fugue with a fully-formed song. A sorrowful bell melody trickling out, muffled and beaten down by a steady kick drum beat. A searing binary tone brands the track with a dramatic spirit, but quickly recedes as the bells become warped. They wobble, as if we were only watching the reflection of them on water that now ripples relentlessly.
So much about Cacero Lazo‘s style defies explanation or compartmentalising into a certain genre or movement. There is a deep vein of sound art that runs through much of this specific work. Real situations meld with surreal instrumentation played on instruments that seem shadowy and otherworldly. So much palpable melody and musicality comes from strange intangible instruments and objects. One track wallows in finding tunes in a dark and uncertain terrain, whereas the next pushes forward a more distinct melodic guide-rope for the percussion and ambient sound to follow.
Cormorant Feld is one of the most attention-grabbing tracks on the album, and also surprisingly the shortest. From almost the very start, this amorphous entity comes into focus. Made up entirely of what seems to be humans, all crying in unison, their voices raising in intensity as they writhe together. The low strings that set the scene give a filmic quality to the moment, as if the image fades in and we zoom in slowly to this infinite vat of wailing and suffering. The voices are then phased into a gelatin-like mess, disappeared from view as we shuffled along to something else.
Cacero Lazo finds a home for this new release somewhere between wandering ambience and sombre electronic melody-making. Still unafraid to find musicality in the darkest and gloomiest of recesses, the artist is able to float orbs of optimism up towards the listener in the form of more distinguishable melodies that choose a general melancholic beauty rather than the detached and almost dystopian sound that seems to control most of the narrative.