Joyfulness (or joy for short) spills out of every pore and splits every seam on "On and Ever Onward", it runs round every rim of "Ocean" - even with the grimly-sliding cello tone turning back and forth underneath. The undertow beneath the glistening wave. I've read the idea is that these songs are from the perspective of a pod of whales singing to one another far out to sea. Their voices are perfect for these roles.
"When the World Comes to an End" is more like the Dirty Projectors I know and like. Deradoorian et al are glitching backing singers, blasting out sonorous fragments behind Lonstreth's cranial croon. Strange how comfortable I am with their voices being broken up into nonsense, into popping diaphragms and rolling throats. Would I feel the same about men's voices being chopped up, would it seem so "natural" and musical?
The vertiginous trill in "Beautiful Mother" is fantastic - "We are swimming in a simple rhythm/We are swimming in a rhythm as a new voice." They've got the tools for that kind of hiking, they have. I take pleasure in the name "Sharing Orb" - "Come into my home/Murder my family/And leave me alone" is quite an opening line. Not quite the caring, sharing one might expect. "Restless hunger/Until the sea is silent/And deadly quiet but for an engine." Maybe not sharing the watery orb as well as planned.
"All We Are" almost has the sound of a Western theme - the orcine "Wandrin' Star" - with voices for oboes and the sinister double bass never too far away. Then Bjork reappears, her voice pitching and rolling like a deep sea fishing boat.
It's a trim work, stripped down and beautiful. Well worth many a listen.
Rating: Whales out of Molehills