This new album is an impressive achievement, originally conceived as pieces for eight voices performing live, New Yorker Emma Houton has recorded it all by multi-tracking her voice and electronic loops to form collages of sound that seem out of this world.
The opening ‘Candle for the Holy Ghost’ uses sustained vocal notes and the subtlest of keyboard to set the tone for the rest of the disc. ‘Watershed’ was a pre-released single and the ethereal atmosphere becomes more layered with a clearer leading vocal.
‘Idumea’ is a biblical land area of unsure boundaries and the nine minutes of the track oscillates and harmonises to hypnotic effect. The other long-form track ‘Bow and Balance’ showcases Emma’s relaxed but powerful vocal qualities, with a murder-ballad tale of two sisters in love with the same man that of course doesn’t end well. ‘Gemini’ soundtracks the endless distances and times of the cosmos before ‘Waiting’ also illustrates the music of the celestial spheres.
As ‘Going Home’ concludes the album you realise that this is an empathetic backing to calm and relaxed movement through a hectic world.