Year of Release: 2020
Sounds From: Chicago
For their first album in 5 years, Zelienople turns on the current time with a record of low key decaying songs wrapped in hypnotic, driving rhythms.
The Chicago based trio is back with a stunner of an underground pop album. Their most reverb heavy bombast is gone in favour of pure earth bound intimate tunes that feel like they summon the spirit of the late Mark Hollis. Shrouded tribal percussion and rippling vocals are at the forefront, while looped atmospheres echo in the distance.
Since the release of their last album, vocalist Matt Christensen has been known for pouring his soul out in countless bandcamp releases of singer/songwriter, experimental and ambient offerings. It’s hard to keep up with him, but one can’t but to admire the dedication and extremely high quality of it all. Mike Weis on the other hand is less prolific, but has become a focused student of Korean Shaman and Buddhist music, often performing in zen based percussive rituals when he’s not involved in side projects of improvisational music. Brian Harding is perhaps the most anonymous of the three, yet he is the steady, grounding element on bass that keeps them as one. Together, they create a beautifully realised own voice that feels especially close on their new album. Hold You Up is like a slow walk through a withering world, though one with a sense of refuge. This is music with heart – navigating darkness through light.