Mind Over Mirrors
Paradise of Bachelors
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JAIME Fennelly's sixth album under the Mind Over Mirrors moniker is dedicated to the memory of an influential uncle, but also cites the writings of naturalist John Muir, specifically "The snow is melting into music". That might suggest a rather wintrier sound that his very individual mix of harmonium, vintage synthesisers, fiddle, percussion and vocals on these seven tracks, the longest of which, Gravity Walks, clocks in at 12 minutes. It is also altogether warmer than the ground-breaking ambient scores of Brian Eno, although those are clearly an influence.
Fennelly ploughs his own unique furrow however, blending ethnic sources from North India and everywhere from Wisconsin to Mississippi to Appalachia in his homeland, assembling it all in Chicago. What lifts this set – as well as the bonkers notion of writing music music to explain Einstein's theory of general relativity – is his embracing of collaborators to spice his soundscapes, always underscored by his own evocative foot-pumped organ and Oberheim synth combination. Those include the fiddle of Iron and Wine's Jim Becker, Mike Weis's singing bowls, trombonist and horn on that long gravitational stroll, but especially the choral vocals supplied by Haley Fohr and Janet Beveridge Bean.