Just a word to the wise… if you’re going to listen to Clairvoyants’ Your New Boundaries, don’t do so while operating heavy machinery, driving, or doing anything else that requires your complete and undivided attention. Rather, turn the lights down low, curl up on the couch with a good book and a warm drink, and let the 13 songs on this CD just wash over and envelope you. Trust me, it’ll be far more enjoyable that way — not to mention safer for everyone else.
When I saw this CD in the used bin, I assumed it was a release by a goth/darkwave band of the same name that I’d heard about years ago, and thought that’s what I was buying (despite the fact that this CD came out on Mark Kozelek’s Badman Recording Co., a decidedly un-gothic label). However, from the very beginning, as the lightly brushed percussion, flowing keys, and lazily graceful guitars began drifting from the speakers, I knew I was in for something far different and eminently more enjoyable.
It’s kind of pointless to discuss individual songs, as they all begin to coalesce and blur together after about 5 minutes or so, and only in the loveliest and most mood-inducing of ways. However, if I had to pick a standout, I’d be tempted to name “Interlude,” with its haunting flugelhorn denouement. At only one point does the album’s slow, drowsy pace come close to being broken. As it progresses, “To Harm” begins building pressure, as if all of the restraint the band has displayed up to that point threatens to burst, with feedback and percussion churning just below the surface.
As gorgeous as the band’s music is — and it’s mighty gorgeous — the band’s real strength lies in Brian Dunn’s gorgeous vocals, which evoke shades of Morrissey, Chet Baker, Jeff Buckley, and The Czars’ John Grant. His voice rarely rises above a gentle, breathy croon, adding a certain poignancy to the songs. Compared to many of the vocalists out there, his is a balm to the ears, smooth as silk and sad as any grey sky.
I first listened to this CD on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I had the apartment all to myself, and was working on Opus when I decided to give the album a spin or two. The neighborhood was completely quiet, and the pleasant, sunny spring day outside provided all the light I needed, flooding the room with the afternoon equivalent of twilight. It was a perfectly relaxed afternoon, just me alone with my work, and I couldn’t have planned a better soundtrack for the time than the one provided by this album. Absolutely gorgeous stuff any way you look at it, and a must-hear for any fan of dreamy, lazy day music.