Colin Stetson – When we were that what wept for the sea

Self release / DL / 2023

Anxious Magazine Colin Stetson – When we were that what wept for the sea

Well, it’s impossible to write while listening to this one. This is the first thing that comes to my mind during my session with the music on this album. It’s all so intense and so rippling that with a naked eye can see how the air molecules bend under the pressure of the sound wave. 

Considering that the last Stetson’s album I was impressed with was the soundtrack for “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” the one from 2022 directed by David Blue Garcia, this new record appears to me rather toned down and calm, but still carries quite a charge. I like him in these horror movies, he fits right in there. The placement of sound in time and space is, in general, a bit of a hobbyhorse of the author himself. On the monstrous poles!

The construction of the songs is based on ellipses coiled in figure eights, with circular breathing as a pillar. This skeleton serves, as a perfect support for the emotions generated by the events on the screen. Whether in the case of the aforementioned film, creepy “Hereditary,” or even the latest “The Menu,” Colin perfectly captures the moods woven into each scenario. Here, on the other hand, I think he simply wanted to take us on a cruise, and so he has done. 

The album starts quite idyllic, the cover adequately announces the atmosphere. The are lanterns as a signposts (I-V), which, despite their many significant differences, have common points – they all sound inviting, warm ,and announce some sort of safe harbor. Traveling from one lighthouse to another we make a hell of a lot of mileage, as the album consists of 16 tracks and over an hour of music. I waited two months to make time to get this thing listened to at least twice in a row, and luckily the train from Warsaw to Berlin was running 90 minutes late. Always look on the bright side of life ;)

Something seems to have just skipped in Mr. Stetson, maybe in his personal life, I don’t really know. I try not to stick my head into the musicians’ privacy (so it’s a good thing it’s Anxious not Pudelek), and I don’t even want to know that they are human beings so that no prism biases my perception of the potential “fruits”, but it’s obvious that intimate experiences have a huge impact on their work. On mine, after all, too, and you know, an autopsy always in favor! This significantly softer tone may (or may not) provide a slightly easier reception, which again may (or may not) gain Stetson more audience… Up to this point, in this particular saxophone, you really had to know how to embed attention, tension is still both built and demolished (or perhaps the word “smashed” would be more to the point) very consistently. It’s remarkably easy to get overwhelmed.

Minute by minute we are getting more and more immersed in sound fractals, somewhere in the distance there are ghosts oozing out of the ‘incubator’ on Mr. Captain’s larynx every now and then, and when we are already rocking on this cosmic swing along with our whole world, a speeding Kawasaki H2R makes its entrance to the tour track. This is the moment, when the shivers from the back migrate to the buttocks. By this means, Mindfuck is the first at the finish line ladies and gentlemen, even though Serenity is stamping on it’s trail!

released May 12, 2023

Marta Podoska