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Whenever you get a CD that’s look like a work of art in itself, there’s always a fear that the contents will not match the artwork. Thankfully, this is not the case with Cabinet of Natural Curiosities “Searchlight Needles” CD.

CoNC is a Brooklyn, NY based collective centered around Jasmine Dreame Wagner who is occasionally helped by other musicians. They describe themselves as a collective that “weaves ghost stories and historical ballads through a patchwork of field recordings, classical guitar, alto recorder, bells and tribal percussion.”

“Searchlight Needles” initially appears to be a fairly simplistic record, but the simplicity proves to be deceptive. Gradually it unfolds into a sonic gallery of ambient textures, female vocals (both treated and untreated) and spacey atmospherics.

Reminds me of Marissa Nadler’s work, minus the morbid angle of lyrics, but the songs are still haunting, plus they’re fairly short and on point. Song titles (“Sun”, “Cities”, “Moon”) and lyrics are like delicate snapshots of various landscapes with images of satellites, smokestacks, factories and piers floating by.

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Ilya S.
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