Album Reviews

Breen & Christensen: Different Cliffs – “a trail to destination unknown”

The Chicago natives give us a slice of splendour on their latest release.

Regular Sun 13 readers will be no strangers to Matt Christensen.

Ploughing through the Zelienople singer’s solo work is simply a must, with the Chicago artist’s body of working possessing a swathe of high-watermarks. So much so, that one could spend the whole year solely listening to his 150+ albums and still feel content.

While last weekend saw Zelienople make their first live appearance since the excellent 2020 LP, Hold You Up, prior to this fantastic performance alongside Pan-American, Christensen released his first record of 2021 (which no doubt will be the first of many).

Constant World: In Conversation with Matt Christensen – Part 1

Different Cliffs is the latest collaboration Christensen embarks on, this time with animator and Slow Planes member, Tim Breen.

An instrumental affair, during these five compositions, Breen’s experimental background provides a nice foil for Christensen’s reverb-laden guitars. Together, the pair form a cohesive unit, with these songs forming a trail to destination unknown.

They could be as much a backdrop to a wild escape across the Mojave Desert (two) or, indeed, a soundtrack to a Willy Vlautin novel (three).

Constant World: In Conversation with Matt Christensen – Part 2

The highlight on Different Cliffs arrives during the final track, five. Clocking in at just over 13 minutes, it’s escapism personified. A piece to truly get lost in.

While there are many instrumental releases among his body-of-work, not since Sleep (2016) has one of Christensen‘s instrumental albums sounded so evocative. Alongside Breen, on Different Cliffs he has created something that emits warm rays of light during these winter months.

Different Cliffs is out now. Purchase from Bandcamp.

By Simon Kirk

Product from the happy generation. Proud purple bin owner surviving on music, books and LFC. New book, Welcome To Charmsville, available from all major vendors.

3 replies on “Breen & Christensen: Different Cliffs – “a trail to destination unknown””

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