Catching Up With Lael Neale
When I’m listening to Lael Neale’s new album Star Eater’s Delight, it makes me think of the duality of “resistance.” There’s resistance in the sense of restraint: the songs are skeletal, tenuously built on Neale’s hovering voice, unchanging drum machine, Guy Blakeslee’s minimalist guitar scribbles, and the Omnichord, which drones and decorates the edges. There are no cliched, here’s-the-big-chorus tricks here. Neale and Blakeslee let the songs unfold, and I lean in closer.
But this restraint is also a form of resistance, as in: Neale is fighting against something. Maybe modernity, with all of its hollow digital worship—Star Eater’s Delight, like her previous for Sub Pop, was recorded on cassette, and tape hiss acts like a third band member here. She sings of flowers, rivers, seas, and trees; holy water, perfect deaths; bells of time, patience, and the speed of medicine. Carried by words and rhythm, she’s barreling towards something just beyond the horizon.
Before embarking on her first European tour, Neale called in from a tour stop in Baltimore to talk about hiss aesthetics, finding her voice, and how Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jane Eyre seeped into her timeless minimalism.
Had a great chat with Lael Neale. Read more at Aquarium Drunkard.