Les Beyond – Hundreds And Thousands
Label – [walnut + locust]
01 Hundreds And Thousands
Erin Jane ward, under the pseudo name ‘Les Beyond’, delivers this dramatic little album, titled ‘Hundreds and Thousands’ on the [walnut + locust] label. This 3″ CDr, adorned with a really nice cover art, contains one long, hypnotizing track that combines two elements which work real well for the artist.
The dominant feature on this album is the gentle, yet persistent and haunting guitar drones. Ward let these drones develop and blend, as different layers of sound not only form an elaborated hierarchy of tones, but a dynamic one as well, letting miniature sounds get more momentum and get in front, while more dominant moments slowly drift to the back, only to return to their starting point later on. Whatever the change may be, Les Beyond make it subtle, natural and welcomed, as the skeleton of this mini album, in the form of these fragile drones, needs to change position like the skeleton of any other living being.
The other feature is not evident throughout the entire track but on few points through it. Soft, ghost like singing seems to emerge from the music and turn this track into a more solemn picture. This singing, which reminds me of old Miranda Sex Garden songs, is embedded in the music in such an effective way, that it almost seems like the endless music is suddenly growing a human throat and translates its natural sounds into a human lamentation. This is a very powerful moment on the album and naturally it brings most of the attention to itself.
Les Beyond shows an emotional approach to drones and ethereal voices, put together in order to create a small, sincere and bittersweet moment. ‘Hundreds and Thousands’ is a very successful pulse of Ward’s music, and it makes me curious about what she can offer on a full album.