While many of us are still savoring the kaleidoscopic panorama of It Billows Up released by Brooklyn-based trio Sontag Shogun this past spring, the band delivered a pleasant surprise along with the turning of leaves in the form of a new EP called Floréal. It is a introspective “mini-suite” in a distinctly autumnal mood that once again finds Ian Temple, Jesse Perlstein, & Jeremy Young in compelling form with their alchemical fusion of foley & tape treatments, organically derived textures, painterly solo piano compositions, and ethereal vocals.
Presented in a cassette tape format, side A belongs to a single immersive composition entitled “Photographs from a moving car” featuring guest vocals by Finnish composer & musician Lau Nau, while side B unfolds in three parts – the moving title track, the collagic “Plaid Lines”, which features the voice of Canadian artist Ora Cogan, and the hauntingly beautiful “Lament” which is featured here in a touching video created by multi-disciplinary artist Joshua Miller using old found footage shot while on a road trip across the United States with his ex-partner. Though deeply personal in origin, the music and visuals combine to powerfully convey themes of both nostalgia and solastalgia in an especially moving and relatable way.
“Influenced by the concept of solastalgia, this song seeks to articulate a great, communal yet fuzzy and abstract longing for the home we used to know so intimately, the environment, our sense about relations with one another, our purpose. [It] also helped our dear old friend and collaborator Josh Miller, a filmmaker who we’ve worked with a lot over the years, and most recently on our video for the song “Cages“, to articulate similar forlorn emotions he was holding onto about the recent ending of his marriage, and thus the part of his life that became forever altered in the glass case of retrospect when their paths diverged.”
Floréal is available now from Beacon Sound on limited edition chrome cassette or as a digital download.