Chestnut – Mockingbird (Land Turtle Records)

Chestnut - Mockingbird

It’s been a while since we covered a piece of experimental music on our pages. To be completely honest, I am not quite sure what caused that gap between the last review about avant-garde releases and the present state, but I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Chestnut a couple of days ago. Chestnut is a very creative avant-garde duo hailing from Los Angeles, California. The duo consists of Daniel Watkins and Christina Santa Cruz, both accomplished artists in audio and visual arts. Since their beginnings, Chestnut released a couple of works, such as a debut self-titled full-length recording, an extended single named Magik For The Non​-​Adept, and series of full-lengths like No More Pictures Of Urban Light, Ritual Abuse, and Dark Tourism.

Both Daniel Watkins and Christina Santa Cruz are going a step further on their most advanced release. Mockingbird represents the natural evolvement and logical transition into more complex sound forms of these fine artists. The album includes ten brand new sound art experimentations fully stacked with some impressive polyphonic maneuvers and sonic articulations. While sometimes solely relying upon minimal aesthetics, Chestnut also transforms into colossal slabs of contemporary noise. Nevertheless, the duo explores even further by combining elements of musique concrete, ambient, drone, found sound, noise rock, indie rock, and post-rock. Mockingbird showcases all these genres submerged into a very detailed collection of sorted and assorted sound forms.

Mockingbird plays with mixed feelings, situations, and circumstances. You’ll find yourself stuck in the middle of a calm ambiance while listening to this fine piece of work, but all of a sudden you can expect a even calmer ambient sequence that, all of a sudden, transitions in a perfect horror movie soundtrack. Right after that comes an indie pop-rock/psych-rock acoustic moment, decorated with hypnotic lead vocals that are guiding you through the psychedelic passages full of bright lights and blurry images. Chestnut offers limitless scenarios and endless possibilities through their thoughtfully arranged experimental pieces, without sounding predictable and repetitious. Mockingbird might sound weird at some moments, but you’ll find more than a reasonable explanation for the weirdness that plays a key role throughout the entire album.

This masterpiece will be officially released on February 12 on the Chestnut Bandcamp page. You may also keep your eyes peeled at their Spotify page if you prefer that platform more. Mockingbird will be also released on Land Turtle Records. Highly recommended album for all those who’re looking out for an intelligent piece of experimental music.

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