Mar 17th, 2023
Having proven themselves worthy of sweet soul, Northern bangers, and trippy instrumentals, the Angels of Libra now leave all earthly matters behind and focus on the otherworldly with their brand new album Revelations.
From the very first track, their second album signifies a departure from earthly concerns and sets the musical stage for a world in which they have nothing to prove and nothing to lose. Completely organic and yet aided by machines and garnished with synthesized sounds, the record features four guest vocalists, as well as the Angels themselves on vocoded vocals. It was initially booked at Dennis Rux’ Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! studios as a session for the album featuring Nathan Johnston, who had to cancel on short notice due to pandemic travel restrictions. Undeterred, the Angels went ahead anyway and wrote and recorded the bulk of what would become their second album, turning the pandemic malaise into a sweetly dark statement on a world in turmoil.
The album’s opener drifts inexorably beyond “The Only Thing Left”, leaving fear behind on a journey into the unknown and setting the stage for sometimes surprising musical revelations. The title track “Revelations“ harkens back to the darker songs on the Angels’ debut album and features the familiar voice of Nathan Johnston, whom the Angels paired with for that release. It carries the desperation of a life out of balance, from daily revelations of conflict and pain.
“House Of Zeus” breaks into an electronic voiceover relating the tale of Ganymede, whose beauty led Zeus to kidnap him in order to present him at his drunken revelries. The instrumental “Ganimed” picks up from there, drifting through space on a lazy Sunday morning in the aftermath of one of Zeus’ parties.
“Gabriel”, featuring the striking Milo Milone (Rhonda), is a stoic yet hauntingly beautiful song about the sense of despair over what was not meant to be.
The dulcet Jepka asks “Where Did It All Go?”, as an ancient drum machine drones through a relationship that has gone on far too long. In contrast, “In & Out”, showcasing Jean Cortis, is an exuberant outer-space celebration of love and purpose.
The dark instrumentals “Raphael” and “Kung Fu Noir” could be the soundtrack to a spacewalk, filmed with a vaguely Asiatic French-Noir aesthetic.
On the visionary “Ayahuasca”, a vintage voiceover monotonously describes satellite-imaging features over a mesmerising, minimal groove, building and building, before launching into a broad, expansive bridge that contrasts the beauty of Earth with the bleakness of what we’ve done to it, while NASA’s eyes helplessly watch from the skies.