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Daniel McClennan: Unfurling Redemption

The Why Patterns member shifts the needle on his debut solo offering.

Daniel McClennan came to our attention earlier this year as a part of the three-pronged withering assault otherwise known as Why Patterns, who released their debut LP, Regurgitorium.

While unashamedly belting out surges of acerbic noise-rock, McClennan returns with something that couldn’t be further away both in sound and vision.

McClennan’s debut album, Unfurling Redemption, is a series of off-kilter collages that rubs shoulders with experimental alumni, both past and present.

Sonically, Unfurling Redemption is like half forgotten memories stitched together. Even then, the abstract nature of things makes it too difficult to develop any concrete semblance of the past. That’s what makes McClennan’s creations such a joy. There’s a surrealism that lingers beneath the surface.

Starting with Thrown, Kick and Screaming and The Great Labyrinth (Navigating Spectral Accretion). Pieces seemingly inspired by Max Richter’s intro to The Leftovers.  

TENCHPRESS: Tombmagic

With spooky pianos and a tape hiss that sends chills down the spine, on Waltzing Trough Spinal History McClennan takes the ideas of The Caretaker only to drag them through a haunted house. And it continues on Iceskating on the Cocytus (For Paolo and Francesca), only this time it feels like a fever dream at high altitudes.

While Lifted by Marionette Strings (For Kleist) is like neo-noir deconstructed into some abstract form tailor-made for a Philip K. Dick novel, on Unfurling Redemption (One Wound at a Time) McClennan streamlines the sound in what is perhaps the most cohesive piece on Unfurled Redemption. With a swirling drama that is the album’s curtain call, McLennan reaches for more modern day inspirations: think Dropped Pianos-era Tim Hecker in cahoots with Liz Harris.

Unfurling Redemption contains a plethora of interesting ideas, and from an artist moving from one distinctive sound world to another, the leap from McClennan is an impressive one, not only because he’s attempted it. He’s accomplished it, too.

Unfurling Redemption is out Friday via Cruel Nature Records. 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.

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