Earthen Sea announces new record, Ghost Poems, out on April 15th via Kranky
Earthen Sea is the experimental ambient/techno project of Brooklyn, New York-based Jacob Long, an artist best known to indie rock fans as a member of the Dischord-signed post-hardcore group, Black Eyes, and the dubby and drum-heavy post-punk band, Mi Ami. On his own, however, he crafts a compelling synthesis of shadowy rhythms and opaque atmospherics, drawing on the most potent qualities of melancholic ambient and dub techno. He began releasing Earthen Sea material during the early 2000s on limited-edition cassettes and CD-Rs, with some of his earliest works utilizing violin, tape decks and keyboards to create eerie soundscapes and meditative drones. In 2014, taking a more beat oriented approach, the Mirage EP was released on the Lovers Rock imprint, and was followed by the project’s first full-length, Ink, which appeared on the same label in 2015. The following year, a digital EP entitled The Sun Will Rise was released by Nicolas Jaar’s Other People in 2016, and after moving to Brooklyn, Long released An Act of Love, his debut on Kranky, in 2017. Two years later, the same label released his third record, Grass and Trees, which presented a stripped-down, skeletonized version of dub techno.
This year, Jacob Long returns once more with the third Earthen Sea outing for Kranky, Ghost Poems, a record that further refines his fragile and fractured palette into fluttering arrhythmias of dust, percussion and yearning. Composed during the first wave of lockdowns in New York, the pieces took shape patiently from samples of piano, texture and domestic sounds – such as sink splashing, room tone, clinking objects -, filtered through live FX to imbue them with an intuitive and immaterial feel. Wisps of melody splinter, shimmer, and refract, like light on water. Pulses accrue and dissipate, as if mapping shifting sands. Throughout Ghost Poems, there’s a sense of matter made animate, of absences felt. Long cites notions of “the studio as a dub instrument” and the melancholy of “7th chords on a fake Rhodes patch” as central elements in his process, transforming raw materials into rare thresholds of symbiosis and hypnosis. This is music for night skies in hollowed out cities, for views across rivers towards unknown shores:, and you can experience firsthand the restless, placeless and profoundness in Ghost Poems with the first single off of the record, “Rought Air”, available below this article.
Ghost Poems will be released on April 15th via Kranky. Physical and digital pre-orders are now available here.