Hearing “Waterfall Winds” on Light in the Attic’s seminal I Am The Center compilation of private press new age music back in 2013 left me breathless. It’s an incredible collection, but Alice Damon’s wordless incantations and gentle electronics struck a particular nerve. Her music is sonically light and breathless, but it conveys a spirit weighed down by a clouded world. Her music is searching for something, as if her haunting exultations will summon a deeper truth.
The aforementioned “Waterfall Winds” is as enchanting as ever with layered vocals creating stirring melodies trying to break free but tethered to the ground by the rushing water and explorative synth passages. “Treetop Winds” is a sanctuary for lilting piano expositions and a gossmer vocal melody hung on featherweight branches. It’s moving in the way it feels like it could fall apart at any moment, an impermanenace aloft with silken timbres. Her songs are obscured laments that say so much without words. She gives voice to the ghosts around all of us.
“Blue Heron Flies” is spacious with her voice winding through the open air, each layer its own spectral gesture. Throughout Windsong, Damon’s creates these unexpected harmonies where each register is like its own little world and as they come together, they are alight with surprise. If the separate parts were isolated, they’d still leave a mark, but the whole is much greater than the sum.
Windsong exists where hope and beauty is drawn out of the salient gloom. A psychedelic air permeates the album, in the aforementioned harmonies and in the pliable structures of the songs themselves. The sidelong closer, the magnificent “Path to the Cave of the Bear,” eschews any voice at all, letting these prayerful, self-reflective synth explorations carve out jeweled corridros in the wilderness where one loses themself to the precariousness of being.
Crystalline chimes reverberate across a reflective plain,”Path to the Cave of the Bear” growing in stature to become an aural mirror where luminescent waves rise and fall like empires as time stands still. Each chord in the sequence burrows deeper, not letting escape to some celestial retreat. Within Damon’s remarkable world, we see our true selves peer back through the glass savoring the moment the sun once again rises.
I was never sure I’d hear Windsong in its entirety as a proper reissue, but thankfully Morning Trip and Yoga Records made this happen. The wait was worth it. Each successive orbit through my psyche etches its incantations deeper, a somber valley that will never stop searching for the light. Alice Damon was special and with this prayer for tomorrow, Windsong reveals the passageway to an eternal spring.
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