In a time when it feels like all we’re looking for is an end to all this madness it is, first, important to not wish your life away and, two, cling to the things that we don’t want to end.
A prime example of something we wish wouldn’t end is the latest release from Needle.
The California-based duo of Steve Beck and Julia Cornett have mastered the long, drawing sound under the moniker Needle and they return with a title as on point to their sound as one can achieve in The Long View.
As was present in the 2012 release Saint Timothy’s, Needle assembles their sound from a place of honesty and solitude. As they put it, the record is “about awakening from a long slumber and finding oneself after being lost and forgotten on the outskirts.” The Long View is no different in execution and fans of Needle will find comfort in an unwavering conviction to the beauty of their sound.
The decisively paced reflective, often echoing, concoctions of low-fi and down-tempo gazed symphonies ebb and flow within the grooves of The Long View. Whether it the operatic effect of “Awake” or the organ-driven smoky jazz veil of “Her” the record embodies the sense of looking inward at one’s self at a time when such reflection is not only necessary, but forced on us by external forces. The minimalistic, intimate qualities of Needle flourish in this release. Mastered by the legendary Kramer the quality of the record is allowed to expand in its space and not become restrained by over-compression seen all too commonly in modern releases. On the contrary, the full-bodied presence of this record builds a meditative safe space to explore its sound. The saxophone contributions by Dana Colley (Morphine) elevate the sound ever so slightly, yet in all the right ways. Casting a dark room, isolated sensation, The Long View is best experienced in headphones and with a great view.
As the eight songs that compose The Long View wind down their hypnotic hold upon us with “Last of the Light” we are met with an almost too abrupt end. We’ve waited years for this record and at about twenty-four minutes we’re left wanting. Not that this record falls short. No. That, like an enlightening conversation with a wise soul, we wish it could last just a little longer; especially in all this madness.