Lost Trail — “The Afternoon Vision”
In Joe Hill’s novel “Heart-Shaped Box”, the ghost of an ex-lover’s father, his spirit tied to his funeral suit, not only haunts the rock star who he sees responsible for the death of his daughter, but relentlessly pursues his victim, hunting him down via ghostly means. He is described as having scrawled scribbles for eyes, which in itself crawls with an instant feeling of dread. Similarly, the music of Zachary and Denny Corsa (Lost Trail) sticks lightly to the skin, moving with us, wherever we go. Static scrawls itself over the music of Lost Trail which can, occasionally, haunt the listener. Their music is a doorway for poltergeists, a pale screen of static bordered by the black frame of the television set. From within, you can hear the buzzing of television fuzz; white noise, crawling with insanity. The ambient layer is itself ghostly: pale, thinly beautiful, a fragile vapour. It can disappear at any second. This is “The Afternoon Vision”.
The level of paranormal activity has decreased over time and is lower now, leaving behind a beautiful afterglow. Radio frequencies flow out from a slanted stream that, once followed, will lead to a serene, albeit crooked creek. Inside the music, huge trees rustle and sway, fastened to the ground, and conifer cones litter the grass. At four in the afternoon the autumn air is crisp, and so is the melodic drone that winds itself around its branches. Ambient notes seep in, but the distortion is always close, trying to cloud everything. Noise tries to claw away at the beauty, but true beauty never fades. Black distortion rumbles from beyond. It’s a vicious dog-bite of a sound; a fatally wounded victim whose body has just been discovered in the creek.
There is beauty in the dirt, swirling around the fallen leaves. The noise is a relative of shoegaze, a darker figure that loves to wear torn clothes. Through cavernous interiors they glide and slide, over the sidewalks and through the streets. Distorted noise crackles and then sets fire to the music. Pillars of drone crumble, and the sad susceptibility of a minor chord flows from the creek, gushing with the tears of the heartbroken. The piano is barely there, barely breathing in what is a tragic and yet gentle sound. Recorded messages and telephone calls speak of secret lives tainted by unease. And all the while, the music is calling to you.
American flags proudly stand from stone structures that are no longer occupied, unable – or no longer willing – to levitate and sway in the light breeze of Fall. Lost highways run for miles, but the concrete goes nowhere. Traffic lights used to serve the roads, but now they serve no purpose; they are vacant ghosts. Beautifully free melodies leave ripple-rhythms behind. A loop wobbles in pitch, physically (and perhaps mentally) unstable. A beautiful, glowing drone bleeds into a surreal American twang, early Americana reincarnated. This small town is more like Twin Peaks than it is your standard town. The buried-in-mud harmony can only hint at the paranormal, like an article in the local newspaper describing in detail an alleged Bigfoot sighting. It is a dusty video tape that’ll always be of unknown origin, playing out its secrets one last time. The smooth chords roll bravely backwards, because when the lighter, melodic moments vanish a thick sludge of doom invades the music, swallowing the chords whole. It is just as much a study in behaviour, in small town life, the latest 99 problems and the abandoned places that used to speak of existence, as it is plainly beautiful music.
Abrasive noises return from beyond, spreading themselves out like the arms of another victim. The dead blades of grass end at the hollow porch, but its murky history is forever united in stone.
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