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Reviews CD Reviews Ethereal Friends of Alice Ivy- Hereafter Moth


ARTIST: Friends of Alice Ivy

ALBUM: Hereafter Moth

LABEL: Galasono Records

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 11-20-08

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Last year, when cult Australian ethereal act Ostia released their first new EP in a decade, it raised fans' hopes for a new full-length from the band. Vocalist Kylie and programmer Amps then immediately dashed those hopes by, instead of going to work on more Ostia material, launching a new side project, Friends of Alice Ivy. The situation for Ostia fans isn't nearly as dire as you might assume, though, for if Amps and Kylie's new project differs from their older work in terms of arrangements, it shares many of the same themes and stylistic tropes. The main difference is that the emphasis is no longer on guitar, but rather on electronics; opening track "The Tower of Flints," inspired by the writing of British fantasist Mervyn Peake, begins with quiet bird sound, then segues into a quietly buzzing arpeggio of synthesized harps and soft cellos. "The Lament of Icarus" is even quieter and more ambient, the harp tones muted by sustained pads, and final track "Telling Lost Tales to the Last Rays of the Sun" closes things out with Kylie's wispy vocals hovering over muffled organs and background sounds that recall the more pop-oriented work of ambient composer Tor Lundvall. Fans of Ostia's more structured and guitar-oriented work, and by extent ethereal pop fans in general, will be glad to hear that Amps and Kylie haven't abandoned guitars entirely for this project. "A Song of Forgotten Places" begins with gently floating keyboards and sleepy, wistful vocals but eventually fades into spaced out guitar twang, and Ostia compatriot Justin Bartlett even shows up to add some richness to the synth-strings and chords of "Echoes." Sometimes side projects give a band the chance to do something entirely different, but if this debut EP is anything to go by, Friends of Alice Ivy has given Amps and Kylie the opportunity to explore similar moods with a new set of tools. While it's not the long-awaited Ostia full-length, in some ways Hereafter Moth is even better.

To hear tracks from the EP, visit the project's MySpace page at www.myspace.com/friendsofaliceivy.


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