Fabulous Diamonds - Plain Songs LP
The Australian duo of Jarrod Zlatic and Nisa Venerosa harness expansiveness through a sepia-tone collage of intangible digital textures and adapted vocal chamber music. Formed in the early 2000s, previous albums for cult-labels like Chapter Music and Siltbreeze waded through dubby psych-rock territories but their latest for Alter stands alone. Recorded in Melbourne by Sam Karmel (F ingers, CS + Kreme), the album occupies an eerie, pastoral twilight zone. Venerosa's stark singing style challenging the ambient textures weaving in and out of the stereo field. Plain Songs slowly unfolds through a mesh of processed drones, flickering static, and fragile yet propulsive bedding loops. "G.B.H." sees the pair utilizing layers of spoken word and keyboard motifs atop spiraling background whirs and softly uttered harmonies. The late-night atmosphere pervades with "On Temptation" and "Forever Turned" where slow, dissonant passages work in tandem with Venerosa's spectral vocal shifts. Zlatic's trumpet howls into the ether on "Flowers and Fade" accompanied by drum rattles, repetitive mantras, and oscillating synthesizers to mark one of the LP's most unique and isolated moments. There are hints of Nico's Janitor of Lunacy (1996) and Meredith Monk's Book of Days (1990) at play, where the icy screeches and distortions give way to the wax and wane poetry of "A Short Confession."