Participation Mystique

Lore City

Independent release, 2021

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Portland, Oregon's Lore City made me a fan very quickly with their exceptional 2020 album, Alchemical Task. This follow-up record from the duo is just as meticulous, exciting, and unique.

“And Tomorrow” starts the listen, and in just three minutes covers a lot territory. Soft singing and a graceful dreaminess glide with an artistic and atmospheric quality. “Once-returner” follows with a darker appeal that embraces gothic tendencies amid the psychedelic waves and synthetic drumming, and “I Know You Know” continues the creativity with a droning, anthemic and primal display of very focused yet adventurous songwriting. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The middle tracks bring us the hazy and pretty “Your Love,” which might be the most universally accessible song present, as well as the soft and mysterious keys of “I Am The One,” which seems like it should soundtrack a long drive through a desolate landscape in the middle of the night. “Buttons,” the album standout, then simmers with a meditative spirit of radiant, cinematic sounds amid the expressive, ethereal vocals.

The final two tracks are “Original Feeling” and “Elapse,” and they're quite different from the rest. The former places more emphasis on drumming and percussion and makes the most out of a hypnotic melody, and the latter fades out with a sublime minimalism that manipulates sound in a nearly sci-fi sort of way.

Lore City consists of Laura Mariposa Williams (vocals, keyboard, guitar) and Eric Angel Bessel (percussion, keyboard, guitar). On this fourth album, the pair explores post-rock, art-rock and dark wave ideas with an incredible attention to detail. Best absorbed in its entirety, each track flows into the next with cautious ambience, spiritual gestures, and sonically beautiful textures, making for a captivating listen that may defy classification but reminds you of just why music can be such a liberating experience.

Rating: A-

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