Thanks to their relocation to the rural, mountain-laden landscapes of New Mexico, it’s easy to mythologize Brightback Morning Light’s schtick and vibe. Their place has solar panels, meaning the duo could only record when the sun was out. It reeks of that Zabriskie Point dusty canyon heat, all sensual and brooding. You can practically see the wobbly mirage of an oasis in the distance. It’s pretty lush. And when the distant soul singers drift in two thirds through 'Oppressions Each', misappropriated or not, it feels pretty real.
Authenticity is the big issue at the heart of Motion To Rejoin, coming in the form of the soul, blues, gospel music and the southern sounds that have surrounded this duo and their Alabama roots. Apparently they don’t dig overly postured appropriation, and it shows in their shamanic channeling of southern vibes, making it into something sincere and truly their own.
Backlit by those Doorsy muted 70s keyboard noodles, wafty woodwinds, layers and layers of hazy vocals, reverberant and spacious, Motion To Rejoin burns slow from start to finish. Straight away on 'Hologram Buffalo' it’s all slow-motion chords and blissed-out harmonies. In a way, the title of that track encapsulates their sound; slightly resistant to modernization but set firmly in the now.
The stoned, rolling nature of this stuff means it has the tendency to drop into the background but this is a virtue rather than a weakness. Yes, it’s 'mood' music but it’s unclear whether it’s purpose-built to be wafting through from the other room in a house with all the doors open. That’s not to say that it’s a boring record. Yes, the style and the evocative mood that positively drips from this record are perhaps its most obvious elements but the spirit that underlies these sweltering ballads is massive. And when you’re this good at dwelling on the middle bits, why not embrace it? You’ll get lost in this. A record that will not only change the temperature but your spirit, too.
7Richard MacFarlane's Score