ef – ceremonies 2xLP
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Released at the beginning of September, ‘Ceremonies’ is easily their best work to date. With eight melodically brilliant songs full of soundscapes to let the mind drift, the album clocks in at just over an hour. The craftsmanship and attention to detail found on this album was the first thing that grabbed my attention. ‘Ceremonies’ has so many incredibly vibrant moments that picking a favorite song is nearly impossible. There is no filler here, each of the eight tracks are all the same caliber of material that I’ve come to expect from Ef. Retaining much of the elements from their earlier work except with a much more full sound this time around, the thing that really drives home “Ceremonies” for me as their best album is that everything is done with focus, each sound having a purpose. The stellar yet never overpowering use of horns in opener “Bells Bleed & Bloom” and later in “Where G. Mallory Sleeps”, the harmonizing vocals found in “Lake Vaettern” and “Sex”, the spiraling crescendos into the twinkly landscape of “Yield, Heart. Yield!”, the list goes on. All of these are recurring trends found throughout the album and they all mesh perfectly with one another, creating a mostly relaxing yet occasionally tense experience. All of this is done while no particular element tends to remain front and center for an extended period of time. I usually do a track by track analysis of each album I review, but I feel that I couldn’t use the right adjectives to accurately capture the Ef experience. I have listened to “Ceremonies” each night on my way home from work for the past 5 nights and yet I find myself still struggling to find the words to tell you just how damn much I’ve enjoyed this album.