Sore Eros

Sore Eros

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While the exploratory, psychedelic lo-fi of Sore Eros took root in the early 2000s as the D.I.Y. endeavor of frontman Robert Robinson, the project moved from CD-Rs to small labels and expanded its lineup by 2009's Second Chants. Structural and timbral experimentation would be a constant thread in all of Sore Eros' music, but things took a particularly unconventional turn on 2015's Say People, a glitchy, trippy, meandering work that the group posted as a single track on their Bandcamp page. Five years later, the self-titled Sore Eros is a more coherent set of the songs that plays like an evolution from records like Second Chants and 2010's Know Touching more than its predecessor, with some key collaborators contributing to its roaming, sometimes Dead-provoked ruminations. An at-least-partly improvisational set that sounds very much like the collaborative work of a band, it was helmed in the studio by none other than Adam Granduciel of the War of Drugs, who produced, engineered, mixed, and encouraged the making of the album. Former Drugs member Kurt Vile, a longtime collaborator of Robinson's, joins the four-piece on a few tracks, as does Supreme Dicks' Dan Oxenberg, and Granduciel lends a hand throughout. With those contributors in mind, even listeners hearing Sore Eros for the first time will have some idea of what to expect, as tracks like the "Chestnut Follies" and "Diamond Highway" seem to amble along sheltered side roads with a sleepy horse's gait. The latter song begins with a saxophone-and-arpeggiated-guitar prologue, passes through twangy balladry ("I felt like I've been here before/Waiting here alone"), and ends with a harmonica-accompanied band jam that fades out rather than reaching a destination. Tracks like "Dharma" and the lusher "Cardinal" offer a more invigorated indie rock without straying far from the promise of eventual, self-medicated rest. Though, like the bulk of the album, "Cardinal" relies on melodic guitar lines and a sense of elusive fate, it adds swirling synths and driving drums to the mix. An unpredictable ride despite its consistent dreaminess, songs like catchy closer "Mirror," with its ghosts of Buddy Holly-style early rock, and the opener, "Backseat Bop," contain tempo changes among other structural diversions, and tracks vary in length from under three minutes to over ten. The album's shifting, dreamy disposition is matched by lyrics like first words "Open your eyes" and final ones "As you cut cards of tarot/I drop shards of mirror/It once filled me with terror/But now it's getting better." That song, "Mirror," ends appropriately with a minute-long instrumental resolution that finally delivers stillness.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
3 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick