Amulets: Sierra High


Heligator Records download

This slice of glacial pop drifted in under the door just before Christmas, frosty enough for its icy fingers to stay chilled throughout a dismal London January. Not sure what the weather is like in Austin Texas right now, but Randall Taylor’s slow-morphing synth washes and plangent, post-rock-ish guitar plucks fit right in with the climate here at We Need No Swords Towers. Taylor has plenty of deep ambience available to discerning ears over at his Bandcamp, but this one-track wonder was handled by the ever-marvellous Heligator Records as part of its ongoing digital single series, all proceeds of which go to maintaining the Malindza Refugee Camp Library in Tanzania. There are plenty of things making demands on our pockets these days, but this is surely worth a dollar of your hard-earned. Tape loops and cassette manipulations play a key role in Randall’s sonic toolbox, and in Sierra High these mesh with the syths and guitars to add a layer of scruffy, stretched grit to the otherwise spotless soundscapes. At first, the clunking percussion loops anchor the picked guitar chords and bass drone like a heartbeat, giving the early section the feel of Ágætis byrjun-era Sigur Ros. The wash of synths gradually thickens and previously separate elements coalesce into a timeless, chiming moment. Then in the final third, Randall flicks the switch, casting forth a tidal wave of fuzzy drone that shrouds everything in a golden, opiated swirl. Suddenly all that ice is transformed into a dreamy, nostalgic fug. Set your face to the morning sun. Let the rays warm your old, tired bones.



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