29 Nov 2020

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

The Impending Adorations - Album Review: Allies

23 Oct 2019 // A review by Mike Alexander
Paul McLaney is one of those artists who never fails to get me where I’m most vulnerable, least alive and yet open to the possibility of being transported somewhere beyond myself.

I’ve been listening to Allies, his latest release as Impending Adorations, while attempting to rediscover a new purpose in an old life.

It has bought me unexpected solace. It whispers rather than shouts, it intimates rather than openly provokes. It has an aliveness and integrity to it that often hints at a familiar melody that you once knew but had forgotten, a fragrance that invigorates your senses but whose source you can’t quite identify and a sense of purpose to it that is open-ended enough to reveal itself as something different upon repeated listens. Construction, reconstruction. Presence, absence, Body, soul. Memory, awakening.

Allies has a simple dedication to M.R.W. and is composed of nine tracks, the most immediate of which are The Ladder, Breathe In/Breathe Out, Sons & Daughters, All At Once and A New Conversation. They are suggestive rather than obvious with lyrics, when they are perceptible (as far as I can make out), - "it’s not working, we are talking past each other, all else is an accusation" (The Ladder), "all at once it overtakes me, though I dealt with this long ago, how can the emotion travel such a distance come from my resistance, I don’t know" (All At Once) - that hang in the air, sometimes fragile at others echoing some long forgotten truth, questioning, probing and finding their own resolution in a matrix of compelling textures, earthy rhythms, over-dubbed vocals, rich electric guitar lines and found and electronically manipulated sounds.

There is no obvious road map to Allies so you just have to navigate yourself through each episode as it unfolds. Perhaps, this is what McLaney intended. As a musician and composer he is steeped in his own past influences that suggest a love of the string arrangements of Beatles arranger George Martin, the other-worldly clicks, beats and stilted rhythms of Can, while his vocal style is reminiscent of David Bowie, during his Berlin trilogy of collaborations with Brian Eno, and Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis.

What is most evident though from all of his releases as Impending Adorations is that McLaney is one of those artists who, through his music, creates the kind of spaces where you can lose something of yourself you thought you knew and find something new about yourself you might never have conceived of.
Rating: ( 5 / 5 )


Year: 2019
Type: Album
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Year: 2012
Type: EP
Broken Science
Year: 2011
Type: EP

Other Reviews By Mike Alexander

Mahoney Harris - Single Review: The Shifting of the Light
19 Nov 2020 // by Mike Alexander
There's an evocative image conjured up early on in The Shifting of the Light that beautifully illustrates the underlying theme of letting go. In referring to "paradise ducks made for life returning to their bowers time after time" singer-songwriter Mahoney Harris might well be talking about 'soul-mates' or a similarly intimate relationship that felt as if it was meant to last but didn't.
Eden Iris - Single Review: I Just Can't Turn It Off
12 Nov 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Having exorcised a few ghosts, so to speak, on her soul stirring 2018 EP Demons, Eden Iris is finally set to release her debut album next year. It’s been an age since the now LA-based, singer-songwriter first came to national attention through Mike Chunn’s Play It Strange competition.
Lou'ana - Album Review: Moonlight Madness
29 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
The official release date for Lou'ana's debut album is October 30. Whether by design or accident, it’s serendipitous.
Raw Collective - Single Review: Good Things (All We Need)
22 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Feel-good grooves are part of Raw Collective’s DNA. The Wellington-based 10-piece have been sowing sunflower seeds of optimism and cheerfulness for many a year now and it seems the well of goodness never dries.
Naircol - Album Review: Isolate
16 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Naircol is Tauranga-based synthesiser whizz Matt Hennessey. I like that it is an anagram of clarion because this is quite the impressive calling card.
Bartells - EP Review: Let's Go
08 Oct 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Sam Bartells has a way with words. In an interview with Darryl Baser from Muzic.
Stretch - Album Review: Our Dreams Are Changing
30 Sep 2020 // by Mike Alexander
Anthony Stretch’s debut album Bury All Horses was one of the most poignant, lyrically honest and captivating albums of 2017. It was a 'dark horse', so to speak, forged in loss and loneliness, and at times a sense of anguish as he contemplated the direction of his life beyond the clouds that seemed as if they would never lift.
Mini Simmons - Single Review: Silver Cigarette Case
30 Sep 2020 // by Mike Alexander
A defining moment for Mini Simmons occurred almost a year ago to the day when they performed a version of Benee’s Soaked at the 2019 Silver Scroll Awards. The New Zealand charting No 1 single made the cut when the 20 finalists were whittled down to five and, as has become tradition, it was covered by another artist on the night.
View All Articles By Mike Alexander

NZ Top 10 Singles

  • MOOD
    24kGoldn feat. Iann Dior
    Ariana Grande
    Billie Eilish
  • HOLY
    Justin Bieber feat. Chance The Rapper
    Internet Money And Gunna feat. Don Toliver And NAV
    Joel Corry feat. MNEK
    Shawn Mendes And Justin Bieber
    Dua Lipa feat. DaBaby
    Jawsh 685 x Jason DeRulo
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem