Life is so often a rushed mess. Upon waking we have to prepare ourselves both mentally and physically for the day ahead. Typically, I cope with the stress with blast beats or a diminished fifth on top of stomach wrenched vocals that transport my head out of the present state. But the memories of childhood wonder occasionally creep into my brain.
Trip-hop was played consistently in my childhood. The merging of hip hop with chilled-out beats acts like a reflection pond I view my past with. I’ve played out DJ Shadow, Portishead, Massive Attack, or just plunged deep into Tricky’s discography multiple times and I’m always thirsty for new bands in the genre. Devour Every Star’s Antiquity sounds both new and classic enough for me to escape without breaking my mind apart through anger.
Multi-instrumentalist Cameron Davis’s project Devour Every Star was born out of a desire to find closure. As the owner of Blue Bedroom Records and sole member of Cicada The Burrower it should be no surprise her album Antiquity is a densely layered, reflective, and somber affair. Normally I go in-depth on every song but that seems beside the point of Antiquity. This is something to be enjoyed as a whole.
Instruments on top of beats. Beats inside of instruments. A synth sitting on top of drums with waves of guitars and what sounds like a rock rendition of a score to a Mega Man X game hit me with thick thoughts of my childhood and wanting to live in a SNES cartridge. Crackling changes come on Low Income Cell Destroyer that move like quicksilver. Tones mashed with dainty keys until a wall of guitars consume everything in its path. Somber guitars plucked behind light electric drums making me feel like I’m walking through a synthetic garden swinging in the breeze.
Antiquity is a densely layered, reflective, and somber affair…
Fractured Starlight Trephination delivers tasty synths dripping with polished vapor. Jazzy interludes reminiscent of the score for pirated VHS tapes of Cowboy Bebop juggle around a playground of pianos. Wobbling tones make me feel nauseous for a split second until Davis’s piano focuses and is graced by angelic strings. I close my eyes tightly forcing my thoughts to slumber. Aptly named The Punishment forces me awake by cramming so many tones and spinning them up like a carnival ride I regret taking until it slows down and allows me to catch my breath as euphoria covers me.
I sit thinking about my day-to-day life and wonder what I’m doing as a glorious guitar brings my thoughts to focus on my heart’s beating. I begin looking deeper at my life. Guitars go sharper until they’re a jagged mess that shrink and dissolves into the Lynchian Bury Me With The Rest Of Them. I see my friends from childhood in my head to this track chasing an ice cream truck whose sound grows distorted and grim. Cosmic noises bouncing between waking and sleeping close out Antiquity on Peace Eternal. Instead of being wrapped uptight, it’s left me wondering what thoughts I’ve given up without even realizing it. Why everything feels so muted, rushed, and busted.
These songs bring back a closed off section of my memories. Watching a single episode of an anime only to never see it again or recall the name. The fondness of a stranger after a ten-minute interaction, back when I had time and a want to talk to new people. More a thirty-four-minute daydream than an album that feels like visiting your childhood home and looking through a forgotten drawer. Being flooded with memories of things, people, ideas take me to the point of wanting to cry…until I close the drawer and continue with my life.
And all of this without uttering a single word.
Scribed by: Richard Murray