Altar Eagle – Nightrunners 7.6
Altar Eagle’s ‘Nightrunners’ is so gentle. Pop has always been a large part of Altar Eagle’s focus. On their last album they heavily referenced pop music. Here they embrace it fully. Sounds are considerably lighter. Many of their previous blurred industrial tendencies have been wiped clean. Now all that exists is bright, optimistic and hopeful music.
‘Carousel Ocean’ embodies this change. Her voice is brought to the forefront. Before the idea was to have the voice serve as another textural element but in this song it is intelligible. It feels light. Listening to it is like watching dust float in the sunshine of an empty room. There’s a certain calm beauty to it even as additional sounds are layered on top. Shoegaze and dream pop influences are scattered all over the song. Even in the initially aggressive songs (like ‘Get Over It’) the playfulness counteracts the heavier sounds. By far the best track is ‘Parallel Lives’. Here the song appears to constantly float up, higher and higher. The delayed hand claps make complement the mellow mood of the whole piece. The album ends with a dance track ‘Hologram’. It reflects the simple beat-driven songs that dominate much of the album. Yet while the song may be more active than much of what preceded it there is a certain grace in ending it with such a swinging, happy track.
In a way it is similar to Parthenon’s work on Editions Mego. There’s the same slight off-kilter sound, even a similar adherence to a specific sound. Nightrunners is a pleasant, low-key, sort of album, the kind that lingers.