It’s been a while since Scott Mou popped up on my musical radar. Though he's been working under the name for some time, this is the first time Queens has seen a proper release of material. Mou last entered the musical consciousness partnered with Noah Lennox for a few scant releases as the bygone band JANE, who's ambient noise templates and crumpled beats might share a volume knob adjustment with Queens but thematically they're a far cry from the emotional fragility of End Times. Built on a palette of acoustic plucks, hiss, drone and a plaintive vocal that cries out like a child in a snowstorm; the album is a whitewashed island of sound that instantly sucks all other noise out of the room. Its a thunderous hush that brings with it clouded skies and fingers of rain down the windows, with Mou divining starkly beautiful distillations of sadness, isolation and loneliness into the thirty seven frostbitten minutes of End Times. The record never seems quite at ease, carving subtle flutters of tension out of gauzy silences and trembling slightly between guitar plucks and the insistent whirr of tape splashing in the background. These intangible qualities certainly put the album in good company with like-minded releases this year from Liz Harris' Grouper and Lee Noble, and should some cloudy afternoon descend on you, all three would make a perfect soundtrack.
Support the artist. Buy it: HERE