Premiere: High Aura’d – “All the Spirits That Dance”

Posted by on August 29, 2017

no river long enough

John Kolodij uses his guitar to coax an uncanny mix of lightness and darkness. The versatile Ohio-based musician deftly moves from forlorn, elegiac folk music to wafting, all-encompassing drone suites, and just about everything in-between, while working solo or in collaboration with a number of adept musicians, such as Mike Shiflet and William Cody Watson. Now, roughly three years since the last proper High Aura’d release, Kolodij revives the project with No River Long Enough Doesn’t Contain a Bend.

The album highlights Kolodij’s ability to pull off a dizzying array of approaches, spanning elegant sketches of American primitive music (“Black Grasshopper,” “Turned Corners”), doom-laden guitar howls (“Hodge’s Lament”), weightless drone suites (“Remain in Light”), and a mini-epic of gothic noir (“Red Rocks,” featuring Angel Olsen). Midway through, “All the Spirits That Dance” stands out as a truly blissful drift of layered ambiance. In the distant background, a harsh cloud of melody permeates the air, distantly reminiscent of Loveless. In the foreground, a dance of tonal beauty and resonant frequencies foils the distorted noise. The song is one of the more emotionally expansive and matured tracks in the High Aura’d canon.

Kolodij provided a bit of backstory on the song in a recent email exchange, offering:

“It’s most about being present in whatever Golden Hour you have in front of you. Whether it’s a moment alone to ponder where you are or reveling in now, realizing that it doesn’t get any better than being present. It’s also a flashback to being riverside, early morning, when there’s smoke coming off the river, as the Day warms up and that reddish golden hue is beaming through the trees and gilding the far water surface. Just hatched bugs are dancing across the water, Cortez style. The song might be a bridge in the record, saturated semi-static pedal steel and blissed out harmonics amid the roots of Roots.”

No River Long Enough Doesn’t Contain a Bend is available via Debacle Records.