Less Bells is the ambient-orchestral project of sound artist and musician Julie Carpenter, based in the high desert of Joshua Tree. Tow years after her first full-length titled Solifuge, she has released a new album called Morning Jewelry which is out via Kranky Records.
According to the press release, The album shares a similar mood of devotional pageantry, stirring ornamental laments born from a need to “create beauty out of grief.” Utilising an amalgam of strings, synthesisers, and choirs, the pieces ascend and descend in grand, glimmering arcs, ebbing from passages of “baroque complexity” to expanses of haunting emptiness. Certain songs also skew more overtly western than ever before, deeply reverbed plucks of banjo refracted against glowing horizons of sunrise drone: Americana gone ambient.
Furthering the music’s mystic intentionality, the track titles comprise “the major arcana of a tarot deck from an alternate universe,” lorded over by the “Queen Of Crickets,” ruler of “The Gates,” “The Fault,” and “The Fang.” Even so, the record requires no psychic divination to glean its fragile majesty, its muted tumult of mirage and melody. The beauty it possesses is too blatant, and bountiful.