Delmer Darion's extraordinary debut album was one of 2020's most slept-on full length projects.
A work of invigorating imagination, the duo pieced together analogue electronics with songwriting that operated to its own internal rules.
Album highlight 'Pearse' was named after the Pearse resurgence, a water-filled cave in New Zealand.
The pair comment: "Our song is about a relatively recent dive, in which a diver called John Atkinson got awful vertigo whilst deep inside. He ended up trapped in an air chamber and had to wait there for an hour and a half before being rescued."
Interlinked with this are lyrical meditations on Dante's Inferno, and the mythology that surrounds Satan. Delmer Darion explain: "When Dante and Virgil reach the centre of Hell in Inferno, their escape is through a narrow passage which is too dark to see and can only be found by the sound of a small stream that trickles through it. So we’re kind of superimposing a real story about a cave diver being rescued from the Pearse resurgence onto Dante and Virgil’s escape."
"And this is the turning point in the album. The refrain at the end is 'The cavern’s dark, the way is long.' From there on, the rest of the album is that long ascent through time, away from the centre - from medieval fear to enlightened skepticism, and all the way to modern indifference."
Constructed with Gus White, 'Pearse' is a stunning piece of work, and it's accompanied by a patchwork video that grafts together clips from the actual Pearse resurgence.
A literal deep-dive, it plays with a disorienting effect that the cave system has on divers, twisting the footage into something almost hallucinogenic.
The duo add: "The song is designed to sound like an old folksy artefact plucked out of history and plonked into the middle of an experimental electronic album, and we wanted the video to have a similar aesthetic."
Tune in now.
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