Opening with lucid choral vocals, a mysteriously seductive anaesthesia disseminates before evaporating into surging feedback, vocals dissolving as quickly as they appeared. It’s this oscillation between states that permeates throughout Broken to Echoes. Whether it’s the esoteric rumbling of acoustic drones, or the radiant fusion of distorted chords amongst the warming sounds of tropical atmospheres, moments of serenity are conjured up in a space so bliss that their endings incite an immediate nostalgia. Fleeting melodies are pierced by shattering cries of feedback; gossamer tones engulfed in saturated noise.
Are those field recordings of actual waves, or crinkling sheets of static? Listening to “Celestia,” it’s honestly difficult to know the answer, but the track—a clear high point of Chantal Michelle’s fantastic new Broken to Echoes release—is spellbinding all the same. The song’s opening moments offer a dreamy mélange of softly struck melodies and oddly elegant distortion, but once saxophonist Brian Allen Simon (a.k.a. Anenon) enters the fray, the haze quickly clears, his brassy explorations evoking images of grand coastal expanses beneath a moonlit night sky. “Broken to Echoes,” on the other hand, is completely untethered to the earth, a suite of devotional drones, sparkling melodies and ethereal vocal remnants that floats off into the clouds before it suddenly disappears altogether.
– Shawn Reynaldo, First Floor, April 2023
Tape, edition of 100