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Ilithios





Ilithios debuts with Florist LP

Florist fades in on a swell of shimmering voices, followed by a warm, resonant layer of bass and drums, on its opening track “Think B4 U Spk.” Those wraithlike voices are soon swept into a sonic funnel cloud (neat production trick) while over chiming tones a gentle, lullaby-like voice entreats the listener: “We’re going nowhere / it’s cruel weather for days.” The narrative then unfolds something like a 3am phone call with an estranged lover or maybe just with yourself. Hazy voices from the song’s intro weave in and out of the conversation, building up to a brief squall of submerged guitar-freak-out until everything drops away.

Ilithios is the latest project of Manny Nomikos (Catty, Gracie Manson, Coyote Eyes) who in this guise comes off something like a Greco-Korean-American indie-rock Dennis Wilson. Besides the flowing locks you’ll find plenty of raw vocal expression set against blissed-out background vox, pristine musical arrangements, soaring melodies and ambient revieries. The songs are often lush but with a hint of Charles Manson under the surface. “Rattle Your Saber” brings stomping drums and buzzing low-end synthetics to the fore, while tracks like “Florist” and “Is This Our Dance?” recall early-to-mid-aughts NYC with Interpol and James Murphy comparisons not totally unfounded. 

 

From what I wrote in the first paragraph you can tell this album makes me think of the weather: shifting atmospheric systems, banks of fog, shimmering sunlight, jagged squalls and occasional thunderous rhythms. It's is an all-purpose and overused metaphor but here I’d highlight that while weather is most often placid on the surface, you know it can fuck you up. Tranquility and turmoil. Tension and release. Etc. Florist’s opening track advocates self-control in its title but by the penultimate track ("Buttons") you’re being admonished that “I’m no florist / I’m no painter / nobody says what they think anymore” just before a fiercely jagged little guitar break--played by co-producer (on some tracks at least) Jeff Berner--that definitely doesn’t think before it speaks. The weather is a fickle mistress indeed. (Jason Lee)

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