Worlds collide and break apart, forming new alien landforms in the aftermath once the smoke settles on Selvedge’s latest, Thresholds. Vast sonic expanses rise from ashen fields, marked by contemplative synth drones, desolate soundscapes, and an overarching theme of exploration. Housed in a fantastic cover, these songs are pervasive, finding unexpected ways to lodge themselves into the darkest corners of our minds while still humming with memorable harmonies.
The deeper into Thresholds I go, the more entranced I am by Selvedge’s sound design. Pieces like “Threshold 2” and “Threshold 7” have a woozy lightness to them, sounding like stretched-out distillations of minuscule moments. The former is stuck at the second the first ray of sun pierces the horizon, golden pads buoyant with the promise of a new day soaked in warmth. Short flourishes toward the end are a beautiful touch, adding quick but potent emotional threads that connect to the vertigo swells of “Threshold 3.”
Across 12 pieces, Selvedge is always searching, never content following a singular path. Disparate shoots sprout in surprising directions, like the dense, serrated drones of “Threshold 11.” As the heaviest piece on Threshold, it still rides a melodic undercurrent beneath the mordant electronics. Crackling at the surface as it builds underneath, Selvedge shows a striking amount of restraint to ride this tense wave until the end, never letting the explosion come. Overwhelmed by the pensiveness, it hits hard before “Threshold 12” closes the album with a cathartic sonic exhale.
Threshold leaves an impression with its narrative structure and interconnected divergent aural paths. Whether it’s the propulsive and rhythmic scrawl of “Threshold 5” or the minimal underwater ballet of “Threshold 7,” Selvedge makes sense of it all. There’s a story here, though its interpretation will manifest in different ways depending on the listener, regardless Threshold comes to a satisfying end.
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