Published on April 13th, 2016 | by The Beige Baron0
The Myrrors | Entranced Earth
In contrast to the alien sky and silent red desert pictured on its sleeve, Entranced Earth by The Myrrors is anything but barren. It brims with life and the exuberant color of growing things, the sound coming from a distant horizon where cosmos and spirit bleed into one.
Solemn drones of bass clarinet and saxophone wait at the garden gates, strings well up in anticipation, and Entranced Earth swings open: Liberty Is In the Streets lopes into the flooding sun—a whoop of delight from a child kept too long inside.
Perhaps it’s the birdcalls piping through shaded moments between each song that infuses this music with an organic feel. The exotic scales, deep meditative grooves, and sense of light and space feed your mind’s eye. The sound pulls at the animal brain, urging you to move, to scent wind and feel soil between your toes once more.
There were a lot of recordings to sift through in order to find the right seeds
Although the band is from Arizona, The Myrrors peel back the “desert drone” label to reveal a sound that is more than just a study of tone and texture. A busy touring schedule has helped shape freewheeling energy into music with direction. Played in the background as you work, Entranced Earth beckons, flutes and sax floating up from the depths to entice you from your world into theirs.
“The material on Entranced Earth comes from a handful of different sessions taking place over the course of the past year or so,” explains guitarist Nik Rayne. “It wasn’t until we got back home from two months touring in Europe that I was really able to go in and look at what we had, what we needed, polish things down, and try and stir everything together.”
Playing live so frequently has matured both skill and musicality: influences explicit on previous albums now merge seamlessly in a sound The Myrrors can truly call their own.
“Having been on the road probably did give Grant and I a different perspective on the material that we’d accumulated, and also helped us shape the kind of record we wanted to make,” Nik agrees. “There were a lot of recordings to sift through in order to find the right seeds.”
Entranced Earth highlights a band that’s tighter, more disciplined, and more confident to really let go when they’re in the zone.
Cranked up through decent hi-fi gear, Entranced Earth frequently surprises with subtle layers of instrumentation that would otherwise pass unnoticed on cheap headphones. Careful placement of sounds and the obvious care invested in the mix promises to sustain interest, rewarding the listener with something new each time.
“We’re always experimenting with things when it comes to recording,” Nik says of the recording process. “The new album is sort of a mix of electric live-session material and structured pieces, such as with No Clear Light or Liberty Is In the Streets.
“As for new instruments or sounds, a lot of the final electric guitar parts were played on a homemade guitar I finished the day before we hit the road. This is also Miguel Urbina’s recording debut with us, and I think his viola playing really helps to expand the overall melodic and drone space in new ways.
“Almost everything was written, tracked, and mixed in the same home studio as our last few releases.”
Another clear difference, Nik says, was the realization that less can equal more when it comes to production and arrangement.
We went into these recordings wanting to embrace the minimalist side of the band
“This record definitely cuts back on some of the dense layering we experimented with on Arena Negra. There’s still quite a few overdubbed textural elements in the mix, but compared to that last album, I think it’s safe to say that this one is a much more stripped-down affair.
“We purposefully went into these recordings wanting to embrace the minimalist side of the band, while at the same time still working on expanding the amount of sound we can get onstage… Invitation Mantra is probably the cut in which we were most successfully able to hold ourselves back.”
Perhaps the highest praise you could give Entranced Earth is that it stands equal among albums made by the band’s own heroes—not because they do the same thing better, but because they do a similar thing in their own unique way. Their sound is transcendent, and Entranced Earth is more than worthy of a place alongside your favorite albums in the drone and psychedelic rock genre.
Entranced Earth is available for pre-order via Beyond Beyond is Beyond and ships to local record stores May 27.