Lusine Arterial EP out this week
Stream the full release with track by track commentary
Lusine Arterial EP
[STREAM via Soundcloud / Self-Titled Magazine]
Lusine “Arterial” Music Video
[WATCH via Youtube / Stereogum]
After his diverse yet cohesive 2013 album The Waiting Room, Jeff McIlwain, better known as Lusine, is back with a more tightly focused EP. McIwain’s discography is intimidating, and over the course of the last few decades, he’s been known for exceeding in a wide array of electronic styles, a rarity among artists of his kind.
The release of Arterial, his fourth EP for Ghostly, marks another successful foray into a niche that most artists would spend their careers immersed in. A calmly effortless work, Arterial is economical in everything it does, creating its own tiny universe to house expertly crafted productions. On the title track, crackling samples simmer like heated atoms narrowly missing each other, suspending us as we wait for release. “Eyes Give In” encapsulates the EP’s feel, taut, with no sound out of place, and yet over the course of its five minutes warming into something undeniably human, even comforting. “Quiet Day,” the most accessible track here, demonstrates McIlwain’s gift for merging heady electronic music with the visceral appeal of pop, as his gorgeous synth melodies compliment submerged vocals.
At 20 minutes, the EP is exactly as long as it needs to be, showcasing yet again the multiplicity that exists within Lusine’s work through songs that form a compact whole. As McIlwain told Giant Step in a recent interview, his goal is to find “beauty in strange places” and “warmth under the surface” through all his music, and on Arterial he fulfills this wonderfully.
This one started off with some tracks I recorded with my cello. It turned into a much more effected version of what I had, and the cellos became just one small layer in the bigger puzzle. I chose the title because it felt like the synth line is kind of flowing, but dense or congested in a way. A lot of my song titles are kind of based on the imagery that I see in the sounds.
“EYES GIVE IN”
The lyrics are kind of about getting lost inside your head. It’s kind of about understanding when someone you care about is being distant for certain reasons. I think stylistically, I was kind of tapping into my love of Aphex Twin-style production here, but giving it a bit more of an organic twist.
This track is kind of about missing someone, and feeling the memories of the person in the spaces they have left behind. I’ve always been influenced by these kinds of static, un-embellished vocals, and here I guess I’m trying to incorporate that into a more experimental sound.
I’ve been hearing a lot of tracks in the 70-80 BPM range lately, and I thought it would be interesting to work in that area, but with a slightly off kilter chord progression, something with a bit more mystery and movement.
08.01 Missoula, MT @ The Badlander
09.04 Montreal, QB @ Le Salon Daome
02. Eyes Give In
03. Quiet Day
Pre-order Lusine Arterial EP here.