MV & EE with the Golden Road
Matt Valentine and Erika Elder (professionally MV & EE) have a tellingly named publishing concern: Child of Microtones. While the duo’s latest recording with their band the Golden Road, Drone Trailer, does indeed include drones, the music never seems static. Rather, these children of microtonality create shimmering, slowly but constantly evolving soundscapes. Some of the compositions hew closer to bona fide songs of the alt-folk variety; “The Hungry Stones” puts the sonic experimentation on the edges of the proceedings and places Valentine’s gentle singing and acoustic guitar strumming front and center. On “Weatherhead Hollow,” the singing becomes more blurred, receding from the foreground into a tapestry of keening guitars, Fender Rhodes, and slowcore rhythms.
The title tune features a fetching introduction; drones swell, pedal steel swoons, and glissandi whirl about in the cracks between the notes. This yields to a countrified psych-folk song, in which trippy singing is distressed by layers of instrumental experimentation. The album closer, “Huna Cosm,” presents arcing guitars and lap steel over a sepulchral bass ostinato in a burnished, rustic valediction.