Nonconnah – Songs For And About Ghosts

Nonconnah arose from Lost Trail’s blackened ashes, after Denny and Zachary Corsa’s relocation from North Carolina to Memphis, Tennessee. Fans may recognise their segueing set of shoegaze-influenced drones and distinctive lo-fi haze, as the husband-and-wife duo continue to conjure up the spirit of their previous project. Sure, similarities in tone and overall atmosphere exist, but Nonconnah are the product of evolution, and their music is a new step forward.

Fragile slants of brighter light are to be found within Nonconnah’s music, which is sprinkled with pixie dust, turning its music magical thanks to its twines of folk and kaleidoscopic, lo-fi drowsiness. Songs For And About Ghosts is a gorgeous record which constantly twinkles and glimmers with sweetness and light.

Using heavily-processed guitars, field recordings, radio bands, and acoustic instrumentation (banjo, accordion, and mandolin), the four collage-like pieces segue and morph as they move, sometimes rotating, sometimes pausing, but always giving off a radiant beam of prismatic colour. On their third full-length release, Nonconnah are joined by Owen Pallett (of Final Fantasy, The Arcade Fire), and Jenn Taiga, which adds even more of a glint to the record. Radio frequencies and phone-ins are picked up on the shortwave band, and subjects such as subliminal messaging and the presence of chemtrails are woven into light and distant drones. Arpeggiated interludes offer up melodic nectar. Swirling textures are aplenty, and some notes are left to continuously reverse, stuck in a loop, creating a fragile vortex into which the music gloriously slides.

Bright choral song and light drones open up the record with ‘To Follow Us Through Fields Of Lightning’, which begins in a near state of euphoria before transitioning into a mellow sunset of stuttering, garbled electronics and a still-warm melody, albeit breaking up and disintegrating; it’s a more subdued cocktail of gentle psychedelia. This is the calm before the storm, as an ocean of distortion quickly washes everything else away. The wave of grinding overdrive sounds triumphant, too, and why wouldn’t it? It’s capable of devouring anything, and an almost-visible renewal of energy can be felt, sending seismic shockwaves through the music, which jitters with an uncontrolled excitement, and even joy.

Songs For And About Ghosts is able to turn its sound inside-out and upside-down. There’s plenty of diversity to be found while walking through its ever-winding fairy-tale, which feels like the right accompaniment for a Sunday afternoon walk through a springtime forest. But at the same time, there are common themes and tones, giving the record a feeling of stability and uniformity even when experiencing its splashes of ultra-bright colour. They’ve left the ghosts behind, leaving them where they belong, closing the door on the supernatural and the rot of washed-out suburbia while choosing to root themselves in the fields. In doing so, Nonconnah tread upon new soil.

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