Magnetic Ghost – Loss Molecules

Magnetic Ghost - Loss Molecules

Magnetic Ghost – Loss Molecules

Out of the great open spaces of the Midwest comes Magnetic Ghost, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based project of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Andy Larson.  In the tradition of hypnotizing lo-fi acts like Low and Flying Saucer Attack, Magnetic Ghost haunts the senses with droning, expansive, and looming compositions that veer from quiet contemplation to incendiary intensity in a matter of seconds.  Larson is set to touch down with his album Loss Molecules this coming November.

Larson incorporates all sorts of genres into his mesmerizing soundscapes, from shoegaze and post-rock to alt-folk and psychedelia.  The 6-track album was self-recorded at Magnetic Mansion, recorded and mixed with Neil Weir at Blue Bell Knoll, and mastered by Cooper Crain.  Larson sings and plays guitars (including 12-string and baritone), drums, and loops/delays/effects on Loss Molecules, sounding like a full-bodied band.

Epic opener “Vanish/Vanishing” starts forebodingly with simmering cymbals, a repeatedly thumbed guitar line, and slowly thumped drums before bursting out with a brief cycle of burning guitar distortion.  Larson materializes with layered and winding vocal chants, intoning droningly, “I will sleep every night / Every day / Forever.”

Sharp, but lighter guitar lines lift off from his incantation and then evaporate into the menacing cycle of drum hits and deep guitar reverberations.  Against the steadily treading pace, angular guitar lines swoop by, as well as Larson’s hazy, sometimes wordless vocals.  Near the end of the track, he harmonizes through the words, “Nothing is created or destroyed / The energy changes forms” and then a sudden spark ignites a grind of flaming guitars.

The lament “Medecine” is filled with hymn-like imploring vocals from Larson.  Strummed-to-picked acoustic and electric guitars and a hint of cymbals and drums form the backbone of the song while Larson floats over the mix, shadowed by a mirroring vocal line.  At times, the scrape and saw of off-key strings rub up against the more fragile and reflective nature of picked acoustic guitar.

Lead single “Grand Canyon” is a slowly building torcher that begins with a subdued strummed acoustic guitar line and Larson’s lightly echoed, wistfully downcast vocals.  It sounds like he’s singing in an abandoned cathedral while sustained backing vocals support his gentle musings.  Approaching-storm sonics culminate quite quickly into vividly glistening guitar lines that stir with a cycling motif and then merge into a dissonant union.

Larson gingerly steps into the vast void on “Sleeping is Believing”, a slowly unfolding nightdream (or nightmare, depending on the ear’s tolerance for detuned sounds) of sustained noise and Larson’s extended, searching sighs.  The lo-fi, unhurried “Landfill” churns with a discordant, My Bloody Valentine-like guitar warp and woozy vocals from Larson.  He’s backed by clacking strikes of wood and a thick drum beat.

The low-key number “Total Eclipse of the Sun” wavers with bright, globular, synth reverb, a hushed glimmer of synths diffusion, and Larson’s vocals, which he drops on the instrumentation in a deliberate, sing-song manner.  A profusion of bending guitar lines tangle with each other as the song progresses, creating a chiming to noisy jumble that eventually fades away…

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