A House Once Lived That Never Was introduces the listener into an entirely engrossing world. cinchel does this by design. Guitars maintain a haunting quality. With over twenty five songs and a total running time in excess of eighty minutes any listeners are best advised to simply succumb to the weirdly charming songs cinchel presents. Elements within the songs are incredibly simple yet the execution is quite meticulous. Simple strategies are employed to make the overall listening experience profound. Inserted within the songs are minor details, little glitches, edits and looped pieces to allow the repetition to become hypnotic. Variations on these themes recall the equally otherworldly work of the Kallikak Family.
Repetition defines the gentle lull of “tulip bulbs breaking ground in the garden outside”. Meanwhile “porch swings” reflect upon a folk song as reinterpreted by Fennesz. Yet others go into harder to define territory. “filling up the wading pool, playing outside all day” sounds akin to John Fahey played through a hall of mirrors. Halfway into the collection things become considerably quieter with subdued tracks like “drinking the last of the sun-tea and watching the leaves begin to change” and the warmth of “after the big meal we sit around and remember”.
On the final stretch of the collection things spread out further going away from the guitar and into ambient sounds. Noise and gentle strums define “the tea kettle whistles while we watch the last embers in the fireplace” one of the highlights of the collection. With the sweetness of “we had to move out but hopefully the next owners treated it nicely” cinchel ends things on an optimistic note. A House Once Lived That Never Was is a wistful collection full of wonder.