NOT IN STOCK
This is the long-awaited release of a new studio album by Cranes, the famed British dream-pop group whose creative output has spanned over 15 years and -- with this latest addition -- nine studio albums. Cranes has been three years in the making. It is a triumph of celestial atmospheric rock and metaphysical minimalist electronics, made instantly recognizable by Alison Shaw's child-like vocals and Jim Shaw's uniquely inventive compositions. There are themes of fractals, the mysterious mathematical patterns and shapes that can be found throughout nature and the universe beyond. Lyrics speak of the passing of time, of how cyclical things can be and of wanting to move forward. This is all woven into compositions that take in everything from Krautrock and folk, to intricate, almost extra-terrestrial soundscapes and David Lynchian melodies. Stand-out tracks include "Feathers" -- a filmic, Espers-like, underwater epic, and "High and Low"'s guitar-led waltz. There's "Panorama"'s dark Parisian vocal layering and "Wires"' soaring melody, textured with Four Tet-like blips. The Cranes have come a long way since their inception almost two decades ago, and their body of work can be split into two distinct eras. The music from the '90s had a peculiar intensity, which seemed incongruous at the time. Their early fans included John Peel, the legendary Joy Division producer Martin Hannett and Robert Smith, who asked them to open for The Cure on many an international tour. In 1997 came the first stirrings of a new sound and a new Cranes, one which still revolved around the sister-brother axis but left behind the industrial rock element, replacing it with their own compelling version of electronic-based songcraft. The band re-emerged in 2001 on their own Dadaphonic label and went on to release two more acclaimed albums in their new guise -- 2001's Future Songs and 2004's Particles and Waves. The current line-up includes Alison Shaw (lyrics, vocals and guitar) and Jim Shaw (multi-instrumentalist), who are joined by Ben Baxter (bass), Paul Smith (keyboards, guitar), and new drummer Dave Hirschheimer (drums). The new album's otherworldly tonal beauty will continue to see them existing outside of the mainstream, slightly disconnected, but able to offer a very beautiful, one-of-a-kind vision of life in the 21st-century.