Released in 2011 on Sub Pop Records Produced by Phil Ek and Fleet Foxes Format: LPx2 Includes large foldout poster
Makes me feel like I’m sitting alone at a party, gazing across a dark, smoky room; an outsider looking in. Chill beats, hushed atmospheres, melancholy melodies.
Pastoral psychfolk from guitar master Ben Chasney. Here his serene acoustic fingerpicking is occasionally accompanied by harmonium drones and trippy guitar overdubs, but overall the album is extremely sparse and meditative.
Taking a detour from his usual loner-droner psych folk style, Ben Chasney enlists former Comets on Fire bandmates to jam some heavy rock burners with a a cosmic amount of electric guitar shredding, evoking Neil Young & Crazy Horse blasting off on a rocket. The new electric energy brought to this album is balanced out by an equal amount of the fingerpicking prog-folk and meditative acoustic ballads that have been developing in his music since the 90’s. While I will always love his more melancholy, nocturnal records that sound like he’s lost in a forest somewhere, I welcome the fiery energy of Ascent.
For fans of eclectic psych rock, communal freakfolk celebrations, and references to Kurt Vonnegut and Pharoah Sanders