End-dances is the new album by Pillars and Tongues on Empty Cellar Records. Although from Chicago, Beth Remis, Ben Babbitt, and Mark Trecka have spent much of the last few years traveling, performing music in a wide variety of contexts, exploring the severe and sublime landscapes of America, and returning to or refusing to return to variations on the theme of home.
Recorded by Theo Karon, End-dances leaps forward in the direction implied by the last full-length, The Pass and Crossings, and the recent cassette, If Travel is Asked of Me. Long-form compositions are coerced into considered and patiently constructed songs, resulting in their most pop-oriented work to date. But in that, the work allies with the darker, stranger side of the pop realm, evoking the drama and atmosphere of Dead Can Dance, and the art-prog experimentation of Peter Gabriel’s 4. The characteristic harmonium and violin blend with enveloping synths, undulating loops and gated rhythms of hazy origin.