A collaborative project between vocalist Dru Allen (This Ascension, Mirabilis) and multi-instrumentalist Erick R. Scheid (Translucia), Mercury’s Antennae’s music is ethereally attuned and pantheist in scope. A 4AD influence is felt on the duo’s debut album, A Waking Ghost Inside, which recalls, to various degrees, the music of This Mortal Coil, Dead Can Dance, and Cocteau Twins. Released on the Projeckt label, the band’s sound also brings to mind such darkwave/gothic Projeckt bands as Love Spirals Downwards and Lycia. Yet another influence is the visionary music of Hildegard von Bingen. Ever the siren, Allen’s evocative vocals are wrapped in the lush, Tangerine Dream-evoking instrumentation of Scheid, drawing listeners like sailors to the rocks — only instead of being dashed against them one feels soothingly entranced and healed. On “The Way You Purr” the sibylline Allen chants: “Long withstanding soul / Wishes to come home / I am here / No feeling down again / You were the light / You were right / Now, here now / It’s time / We were formed by pieces and I came… / I came / Hope’s a sail.” The underlying premise of the album seems to be to kindle the divine spark — to “wake the ghost” — inside each individual, and in so doing to realize a taste of the divine nature and to feel the sublimity of Nature’s divinity. On “City of Moving Clouds,” Allen’s lissome voice is carried on high via Scheid’s swirling guitars as she sings: “Just breathe / We aren’t doubting / High aloft, feel the pulse / Of this city / For who you are, you’ll feel me / Wherever you are, just be / Clouds have come to carry us tonight.” Perhaps the most moving track is “Where Tides Softly Gaze,” on which Allen chants through Scheid’s sonic waves: “See what has come / Whispers bring moon and sun / Fate ne’er undone / Others sought, away did go / On our way / O’ for long to the Sun / And where tides softly gaze.” On the whole, A Waking Ghost Inside is subtly textured, mystic dream pop, which helps the listener temporarily transcend a quotidian existence and feel a fleeting bliss.
A Waking Ghost Inside