Claire Rousay: Review of everything perfect is already here – everyday sounds that strike a chord | Experimental music
JThe “emo ambient” tag seems to have stuck to the emerging San Antonio artist’s music Claire Rousay, and in all honesty, it’s going pretty well. His work, at its core, is an experiment in using mundane environmental sounds to directly strike a chord. Across his rapidly growing discography, field recordings of lighters, typewriters, and other household paraphernalia mingle seamlessly with vocal recordings, text-to-speech, and hesitant harmonics of classical and drone instrumentation. Under his direction, these components seem to coalesce into something more than just a meeting of acoustics and textures, evoking emotion, memory and a startling sense of vulnerability in the listening experience. It is music for deep listeners inspired by Oliveros and for poets who find meaning among the mundane.
On her latest record, Everything Perfect Is Already Here, Rousay welcomes melodic elements into her compositions: on It Feels Foolish to Care, wandering harp progressions join sleepy violins, voices and laughter, and perhaps the rustling of paper and spilled liquids; a piano refrain falls towards the end without buildup, tender but sudden enough to hit like a stunner out of nowhere.
Rousay’s drumming tendencies surface on the title track, though his “kit” now consists of microphone scratches and brief human movements and exchanges. Transient wind sounds and creaking leaf footsteps guide the track to its eventual harp outing, though it’s unclear whether we’re going or not. Between Rousay’s drones and disturbances, melodies and arguments, the album becomes a place of feeling in the present, detached from time, as familiar as a memory and as placeless as a dream.