Cicada (Taiwan)
Seeking the Sources of Streams


3.8
excellent

Review

by Esoctrilihum ate my wife STAFF
January 16th, 2023 | 52 replies


Release Date: 01/06/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nature is calling

Yes, indeed: Cicada are a Taiwanese quartet who play chamber [do-not-affix-a-genre-in-this-space] music to fluid, unhurried and overall lovely effect. The decidedly brassy tone of their acoustic guitarist gives them a (probably) contemporary touch, but the cello/violin/piano combination that makes up the rest of the group is comfortably within the realm of polished-but-pastoral timelessness. So far, so good. Their latest record Seeking the Sources of Streams was reportedly conceived by composer Jesy in response to a long hiking journey she undertook through the Taiwanese mountains, valleys, forests, streams etc., and, obvious references in the nomenclature aside, the album’s rich associations with nature manifest themselves recurrently. Some of these pieces are so innocuously consonant as to escape impression (“Departing In The Morning After Rain”) but these are swift to give way to others those evoke a Romantic sense of ephemeral wonder-in-nature with gorgeous focus and clarity (“Birds and Moist Pine Needles”; “Foggy Rain”; “Encounter At the Puddle”). These tend to mull over single motifs or short phrases as though digesting individual moments; Cicada complement these with three longer compositions that ebb, flow, meander, circumambulate, accrue momentum, dissipate into tranquillity, [full yoga program available upon subscription] in such a way that Jesy’s expedition finds expression not merely in watercolour-esque impressionistic snapshots, but in full sequences of patient travel. I was initially hell-bent on resisting a lazy categorisation of these as ambient; however, following various episodes of such extreme drama (read: Sputnikmusic almost being nuked from orbit; various oppressive deadlines), the only purchase this music could claim on my conscious mind was that of background capacity, and I found that both it and I attained such piece as such that sure - why the hell not? I am soothed. Contemplate:




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user ratings (33)
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
BlazinBlitzer (3.5)
Cicada shows why appreciation for Mother Nature is one of the most fail-safe inspirations of art....



Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


49770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

((first good record of the year)) don't call me

GhandhiLion
January 16th 2023


16270 Comments


Let’s Go

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


28867 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I dont know man, i remember these guys being very pretty and very boring

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


49770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

if by "boring" you mean not relentlessly minor key and unconcerned with grandiose dynamics, sure



few of these pieces (and some of what I've heard from older stuff) are somewhat dull; most of it is written with just enough intricacy to reward a focused listen and more than enough subtle ebb and flow to carry a lazy one

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


28867 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea that's... that's what I meant Johnny.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


49770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

you are a metal reviewer; it is my destined mission to sanction your use of the word 'boring' ;]

kildare
January 16th 2023


91 Comments


"[full yoga program available upon subscription] " perfect parenthesis in a perfect passage

pizzamachine
January 16th 2023


18375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It is Cicada

First track is decent Final Fantasycore

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


49770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

heh thank ye kildare, and yes the first track is p boring, glad for its brevity - second is delightful

pizzamachine
January 16th 2023


18375 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, so far a beautiful album. Great rec

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


28867 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"you are a metal reviewer"



Easy with the tags there, I review a lot more than metal, hell I just reviewed Nicole Doll Bangers' a week ago. I'll peek this though, gotta give everything a chance.

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


17517 Comments


Trust Johnny to somehow find a reason to slightly gatekeep the metal writers.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


49770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Pfft y'all make it so much easier than it needs to be

"just reviewed Nicole Doll Bangers"

Isn't this the Ethel Cain/LDR/heyday U.S. Girls sound with gothic melodrama dialled way up or am I getting mixed?

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


4643 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

did someone say ethel cain

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


17517 Comments


Johnny caught in between denial and back tracking. So yes.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


49770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Not sure I see any of either, but stroppy weigh-ins are not your best look m'dude

Just think it's worth an automatic eyeroll to get [haven't heard the album but] "boring" as an immediate association the one time in a blue moon (probs since Milo's Makaya McCraven rev) anyone covers something on this site that isn't oriented around loud guitar sounds or naked expressions of pathos/catharsis/melancholy, but hey I'm sure you can think of less salty way to unpick that

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


17517 Comments


I’ve got very little substance to substantiate my vague assumptions or posturing.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


28867 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Johnny, my dude, chill. It was just what I remembered from thaaaat time I thiiiink I heard this band. In no way it was my intention to detract from your effort, and like I said, I'll check the album and, most definitely, report back.



And yes Nicole D is all those things but it's not metal.

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
January 16th 2023


11539 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

I normally listen to everything that ends up on BNM but I don't like to see a rev 3.8 and a rating 5. let the BNM become BNM on their own



rev is nice though. I fear I'll yawn listening to this.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 16th 2023


49770 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Yeah my bad Dewi, I didn't feel personally @d and likewise didn't mean to have a go at you. Appreciate pearl-clutching is hardly more conducive to good things than vague assumptions.

@dedex no BNM has ever become BNM by itself, and the notion that even half the albums that have appeared there in the past actually warrant the title is all the more reason to rig it. Karmic retribution will be served on the annual BNM cringelist, by which point the calibre of other records there will determine whether this was abuse of platform or worthwhile foregrounding of a site-marginalised sound on an otherwise largely regurgitative site function

This album has limited crescendo potential, no vanilla bangers and no viral Discourse cred, so up to you to decide how many yawns it nets



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