Creating an immersive melancholic waltz for feet, thoughts, and emotions, the debut self-titled album from US electronica project Pillar Point is a fascinating captivation with a persistent almost niggling seduction which encloses the imagination in an evocative and reflective embrace whilst sparking the urge to shuffle and lift limbs. It is not a release to ignite a major fire in the belly but instead it simmers and smoulders earning a lingering respect and appetite towards its open invention.
Pillar Point is the solo project of Seattle musician Scott Reitherman, an artist already known for his involvement with indie-pop outfit Throw Me the Statue. Exploring similar electronic textures and sounds to that band, Reitherman ventures into darker shadows and deeper emotive corners, tempering it with a melodic dance of imagination upon his solo release. Uniting with long-time collaborator and producer Charlie Smith for the Polyvinyl Record Company released album, Reitherman takes Pillar Point and the listener on a fascinating soar through crystalline atmospheres and sirenesque electro embraces, an adventure equally unafraid to step into personal reflective shadows.
The album opens with the masterful Diamond Mine, the song a weave of electronic alchemy honed into an enthralling flame of melodic enticement. From its first caress of vintage sounding synthesizer the song is seducing the imagination, the mellow falsetto leaning vocals of Reitherman adding to the warm suasion. Dark bass tones politely groan from within the flames, beats adding potent jabs to cast a little further darkness to the sunspot of a song. It is an absorbing entrance and stroll but one which shows its true toxicity with the exceptional chorus. As it hits, discord invites itself to the mesmeric party and immediately cast a dark irresistible glaze to proceedings vocally and musically. It attaches its claws like a mix of very early Ultravox and Thomas Dolby filtered through the dark intimidation of Joy Division. It is a scintillating moment in a terrific start to the album, one it never manages to emulate again.
The following infection soaked Eyeballs and the celestial Cherry give it a strong go though, the first an eager energetic bound of guitar teasing and mischievous rhythms within an electro cloud with as much tendency to haunt and shadow emotions as it has to seduce them. Its successor washes over ears with an ethereal breath and temptation which again mixes melancholy and warmth into an emotive sailing of the imagination. Like its predecessor the song is awash with an infectious bewitchment which lingers and inspires long after its departure.
Black Hole steps up next with its rhythmic bait poised and ready to hypnotise from its first second, the ear clipping beats a constant provocation within a tantalising electronic entrapment. Smothering and inspiring thoughts into a personal adventure, the song is a vibrant tempting which has toes and heels itching to join the mix, something which Strangers In Paradise in its noir kissed romance also achieves with a slow steady saunter. As with the opener, there is an eighties synth pop essence to the song especially in its darkest climate, bands like Felt and Comsat Angels brought to mind by the sultry elegance and rhythmic intimidation respectively of the encounter. Its unpredictability and fusion of discord spawned ingenuity with warm melodic blushes is a compelling treat and across the whole album this type of union continually provides the strongest pinnacles of the landscape.
Both Dreamin’ and Touch expressively glow in the passions, if at times with sluggish lures that stir rather than stoke the fires, whilst the delicious tease of Curious Of You with its electro devilry and contagious harmonies incites the coals to another feverish hunger. It is a track which holds the hands and whirls you around its hazy scenery in one fluid escapade for the duration of the refreshing dance. It is a magnetic incitement matched by the closing slice of mesmerism, Echoes. As its title the song resonates and pulsates relentlessly in the psyche and imagination, another weave of electronic and melodic beauty coaxed further by the impressive tones of Reitherman.
The song concludes in fine style a magnetic release, an encounter from Pillar Point which maybe does not cause the passions to erupt but instead invites and persuades them to linger for vast swathes of time long past its farewell…a reward which arguably is the greater and very appealing.
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