Release Date 07/20/2018
(Requiem Pour Un Twister)
The rare history of harmonious pop music imbued in Vinyl Williams’s Opal LP is finally coming to the conscious surface in the warped form of a celestial hyper-coaster, combining sunshine pop, afrobeat, and progressive rock into a dense emanation of sonic optics. The California native has attuned his sound palette to the cosmic quintessence – opalescent tones that harmonize chaos, synchronizing a global family of celestial harmonies into a macrocosmic epicenter.
Out of such came 10 tracks of incessantly lush pop songs that can be used to intangibly dress your dream palace. It was recorded almost exclusively by Lionel Williams at Non Plus Ultra (all ages venue / studio in LA he’s involved in) with the exception of Gal Lazer (ex-drummer of Yonatan Gat) playing hand drums on Aphelion, and Ian Gibbs (Williams’s long time musical partner) overdubbing guitar & synth on several tracks. Through the process of recording individual tracks onto a VHS camcorder, as well as using handheld cassette devices, the fluttery lo-fi guitar & synth sounds became architecturalized by hi-fi drum sounds, keeping the warbly rollercoaster somehow on track. The record opens with “Sanctuary Spells” – probably the most outlandish track on the album, which gently places you into a timeless realm. The sound quality begins like a phonograph wax cylinder from the turn of the century, and when the song drops it spins into the deep future, teleporting you to a space age suite akin to Thundercat and Bonobo. The debut single off the album “Lansing” may be the most grounded, connecting Marvin Gaye with The Association, almost like mixing banana with peanut butter (to make a perfect smoothie). It wraps you in its silky spring reverb, and overtone-heavy guitar sounds that reminisce Pure X’s first album “Pleasure”. The existential plea embedded in the chorus’s lyrics haunt the mind to no end, yet still remain positively hopeful. Melancholic bliss at its most paradoxical.
Williams’s approach to music is almost purely aesthetic, arranging ecstatically ornate patterns that juxtapose the electric guitar chords with the bass line in rapturously risky variations. Without a doubt, it’s not your average psychedelic pop music. It doesn’t veil simple campfire chords with spring & fuzz. It’s more like stretched-out jazz for the layman, allowing one to be aware of its changes without them passing by you unconsciously. “Aphelion” pushes these boundaries to the most extreme by sending you off into Williams’s inner world at the highest speed. Aphelion as an astronomical holiday is on average actually July 4 – the day our Earth is furthest from the sun. Hence, the song as well as the USA’s Independence Day are invocations of the sun. With all of the track’s complexities its easy to assume it must be talking about something large & vast. Similarly, “None With Other” surfs solar waves through ineffably designed chord changes & modulations.
Beyond cosmic alignments & anomalous sound environments, the album wraps with “Millennial Ballroom”, an homage to Curt Boettcher (The Ballroom, The Millennium, Sagittarius). Here we really dive into the exoplanet utopia Williams impressionistically illustrates. Everything bursts together in an inescapably California reverence to sunshine pop & its dreams of a more harmonious world.