Context – writing something unrelated
Jen Gloeckner’s newest album, VINE, isn’t for everybody. Hell, I’m not even sure it’s for me. I’m not entirely sure who it’s for.
It lives in this weird space between indie/dream-pop and industrial. Or at least that was the impression I got off the title track, “Vine”. It’s a bit too dark and heavy to be a proper pop album by any designation, but it isn’t adventurous enough to be any sort of wave or industrial album. The effect, at first glance, is rather disconcerting. I’m still not sure how to process it.
She manages to smooth over these disparate tendencies by amping up the ambient undertones that are present in all the genres she brings together on VINE. And we all know I’m a sucker for some well-done ambiance, when I’m so inclined to be open to it.
There’s no denying that VINE provoked some sort of an emotional response from me, particularly “Firefly (War Dance)” and “The Last Thought”. I don’t remember much from my initial listen of the song “Counting Sheep”, but after doing a quick skim looking for the other two songs I’ve mentioned I can say this is a very pretty ballad what with it’s ethereal plucking and dream-like quality.
And these sorts of impressions are all we can ask for out of music these days, even if the impression I’m left with isn’t exactly positive. It isn’t exactly negative, either, but I’m grateful for the feelings this provokes, confusing and otherwise.
Like I said at the start of this, I’m not sure who this is for. I’ll for sure give this another listen or seven in an attempt to figure out if I love it or I hate it. The good news for Jen Gloeckner is that when this coin flip lands on the “love it” side I tend to love it a lot and forever. The downside is I’m just as likely to avoid it like the plague if the coin lands on “hate it”.
Either way I’m interested in whatever else she’s already released or will release in the near future. Assuming I don’t decide I hate her, of course.