After seemingly forever, the Jeweled Antler Collective expands and a new band, Softwar is born into the world. Though the label is no longer releasing their handmade CD-r runs; this album, brought forth on Digitalis, embodies the pastoral spirit and freedom that pockmarked each of the early releases that wormed their way into my heart and onto my stereo. Softwar is the sound of the California sun baking the Western Coast and the breeze blowing the remnants out to sea. The freeform structure mirrors the pasts of many of the band's members who've inhabited projects such as Skygreen Leopards, OV, Franciscan Hobbies, Blithe Sons, The Child Readers... and so on and so forth. But even as the free-spirited noise notions seem to take hold, beautifully charming melodies waft from beneath the bits of din and debris, making the record much more than a host of Jeweled alumni getting their kicks out on tape. Much in the same vein as the latest from Kemialliset Ystävät, they balance walls of cacophony with delicate melodies that get caught in the crevices of your brain. This one took me a little longer to absorb, but now that I'm finally seeing the cracks in the surface I'm all the better for it.
[MP3] Softwar -The Softwar
[MP3] Softwar -Sightless Sculpture