Sound Advice: Bring Down the Sky, by Northumbria
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Sound Advice: Bring Down the Sky, by Northumbria

The Toronto-based ambient drone duo's sophomore effort is both beautiful and devastating.

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Last Halloween, experimental drone duo Northumbria released a stunning debut record. All Days Begin As Night was a complex creation that folded and unfolded itself in exquisite layers, with sounds shuffling and shivering against each other. Cool and soothing as a deep freshwater pool, the record managed to avoid being chilly; instead, it offered a profoundly intimate and often tender soundscape.

But their sophomore release, Bring Down the Sky, which is due out on Consouling Sounds November 21, has to contend with something from which their debut was free: expectations.

Whereas All Days Begin As Night could shock, Bring Down The Sky can toy with anticipation—and at this it succeeds beautifully. There is a great delicacy to this record, which can be attributed both to compositional refinement and to excellent mastering by James Plotkin.

It’s the rough moments, though—the unexpected sharp edges—that make Bring Down the Sky something truly extraordinary. “The Ocean Calls Us Home” bristles; “The Silver Forest” has a depth that is wondrous and menacing; the title track shifts beautifully from plaintive to sepulchral.

If you’re looking for a record that will sidle up to you sweetly and leave you utterly devastated, then Bring Down the Sky is precisely what you’re after.