we are super fucken excited to announce the release of our debut album on Type Records. in the UK/EU, grab it from boomkat. in the US – forced exposure, experimedia, & other music all have it in stock now… it’ll be filtering its way toward your favorite shop/mailorder in the next week. the first few hundred copies are on awesome PINK vinyl.
here’s what boomkat says:
This excellent debut-proper from hotly tipped duo Altar Eagle finds itself nestled somewhere between the icy drum machine pop of Cold Cave, the Kosmische refractions of Emeralds and the classic layered shoegaze of Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Eden Hemming and Brad Rose have previously made music together as Corsican Paintbrush before changing their name and style on a pair of sought-after cassettes absorbing darkwave pop genius and the 1st wave techno moods of Juan Atkins. With a heavy heart and distorted touch they’ve drafted a deeply affected sound where vocals are typically half-heard and happy to be so, while an ongoing mastery of their analogue synths lends a flush of wide-eyed man/machine pop potential. In opener ‘Battlegrounds’ they crumble Slowdive-style guitars with submerged drums and viscous distortion, while the effect of ‘Honey’ is akin to Au Revoir Simone in the early flushes of a heady narcosis. Following this, ‘You Lost Your Neon Haze’ blissfully smothers Eden’s vocal in a blanket of decaying noise signals, while ‘B’nai B’rith Girls’ filters cascades of bubbling synth juice into spiky drum machines and billowing techno signatures. In the second half of the album their darkwave addiction becomes more virulent, resulting in the pounding effect of ‘Monsters’, while ‘Spy Movie’ fuses the warring sounds of Juan Atkins and MBV in an emotive deadlock. One of our faves, ‘Breakdown’ harks to early Factory and 4AD releases with reverbed shivers of Vinny Riley-ish guitar and drowned vocals. ‘Pour Your Dark Heart Out’ is the cathartic swansong, perfectly channeling a bedroom spirit, while ‘Six Foot Arms’ leaves us in a state of cathartic euphoria, comfortable to wallow in a mire of murky inspiration and unbearable glamour. One of the debuts of the year, no doubt.
here’s what type says:
Brad Rose (aka The North Sea) is probably the last person you’d expect to see at the helm of a pop album. A folk record — maybe, a noise record? sure, but pop? Probably not. Yet that’s exactly what he and his wife Eden Hemming have done with Mechanical Gardens. The Altar Eagle sound might not come as much of a shock for those cassette collectors who have managed to source copies of the duo’s now-rare debut EPs, but for the rest of the world it should serve as a radical change in direction for one of experimental music’s most valuable sons. The ear-splitting noise that enticed listeners on Bloodlines is all but forgotten as Brad and Eden pick through shimmering dream-pop and cold-wave electronics with the greatest of ease. The quality is assured within minutes of the gorgeous Slowdive-esque opener “Battlegrounds.” Anchored by Eden’s humming, ethereal vocal tones, the song is a glorious statement of intent and while the band go into clubbier directions on the second half, this song is a gateway to their sound. Possibly the biggest surprise on Mechanical Gardens is the sound shift which occurs mid-way through the record, as the bubbling bliss of “B’nai B’rith Girls” gives way to the abrasive electro growl of “Monsters.” Influenced in part by Eden’s long-time love affair with techno and Brad’s recent obsession with synthesizers, the duo strike a perfect middle ground between crumbling experimentation and pop excess. This is rarely better explored than on “Spy Movie,” a track that somehow combines the supposedly warring sounds of Juan Atkins and early My Bloody Valentine. On Mechanical Gardens, Brad and Eden have created an album that revels in its grab-bag of influences, but somehow they have managed to emerge with a sound that is totally singular. It’s pop music for sure, but un-cynical, atypical and hugely enjoyable.
the CD edition will be out in a few weeks (as well as digital) but i highly recommend getting it on vinyl as it sounds better than ever. ONWARD!