A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLENA WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLENORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH 2011Don’t called A Winged Victory For The Sullen a project. Don’t even call it a side-project, for these are terms that their two members would prefer you didn’t use. Ex-Sparklehorse member Adam Wiltzie and Los Angeles-based composer Dustin O’Halloran joined forces a few years ago and have created a beautiful sonic landscape that takes influence from modern classic music and ambient noise. Wiltzie and O’Halloran met in Italy in 2007 when Wiltzie was performing on the road with Sparklehorse. It’s through learning that O’Halloran composed the piano score to Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (of which Wiltzie and his fellow artist partner Christina Vantzou were big fans) that a friendship was born and, subsequently, A Winged Victory For The Sullen. The outfit’s self-titled debut also features cellist Hildur Gudnadottir and violinist Peter Broderick and was recorded at a time of immense changes in their personal lives, deepened further by the sudden death of Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkous. As a result it is a very melancholy record that feels worlds away from the alternative rock of Sparklehorse and closer to the ambient drone of Wiltzie’s work as one half of Stars Of The Lid. O’Halloran, meanwhile, is best known for his work as a pianist and together they have intersected at a point where post-rock meets modern classical arrangements to create a record of profoundly moving and surprisingly uplifting music.In this sense A Winged Victory For The Sullen feels like the very definition of the term ‘collaboration’, a joining of like-minded individuals already working within a field that is still seeking proper definition. Completely without vocals, the record is composed of the subtlest of textures; the hushed orchestration and the fragile piano phrasings are minimal in the most fulfilling ways imaginable, never meandering too far or ruminating for too long on a particular sound and resolving to a logical conclusion that always feels poignant. As is the case with many instrumental/ambient records such as this, repeated listens allow us to become entrenched in the sounds and it’s the anticipation of a rising orchestral swell or the reintroduction of a single variation on a piano note which resonates far deeper than words ever could. The notion of the record striking two very different chords throughout is one that remains.Indeed, its title brings together the words ‘victory’ and ‘sullen’ in a way that forces us to consider the duality of such words and it’s also perhaps important to consider that this is a self-titled release. Through bringing together such words on a collaborative outing, I’m forced to question whether future endeavors will prolong this idea of mutual sadness and happiness that their sound evokes to such a powerful degree. In actuality, ‘victory’ does not suggest happiness so much as ‘triumph’ does, and the opening track to the record says enough in its discursive title to implant an idea that befits the sound of its beautiful piano chords. We Played Some Open Chords And Rejoiced, For The Earth Had Circled The Sun Yet Another Year feels like a silent victory lap that plays out on a yearly basis and goes unbeknown to most, questioning the massiveness of the universe within a specific context. Gently brooding and pulling on a very strong gravity from its emotional core, it is one of the finest, most pure sounds in my recent memory. My head is filled with images from films such as Von Trier’s Melancholia, Mike Cahill and Brit Marling’s Another Earth and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and that’s not just merely because of its filmic, score-like introduction.Requiem For The Static King, Part One and Two build gradual ambient soundscapes that roll along with the most minimal of drone before introducing a glistening piano refrain towards the centre of the latter. Minuet For A Cheap Piano Number Two blurs drone, piano droplets and cello into a muted concoction whilst Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears emerges in a similar fashion before intensifying to a swelling, surging crescendo. The sample of distant, encircling fireworks towards the end of All Farewells Are Sudden suggests an ultimate delight or accomplishment. There’s no doubt in my mind that A Winged Victory For The Sullen would evoke feelings of sorrow even if the knowledge of Wiltzie and O’Halloran’s melancholy moods around the time of recording were unknown. Wiltzie has commented on his disappointment with the often low turn out at live shows that he and O’Halloran have been putting on in support of this record, which is a great shame. Yet this isn’t music built for the rat race. It takes time to seep in and reveal its layers, and time isn’t what many city dwellers have a lot of. Of course, it’s what people need and taking 45 minutes out of an evening to really unwind to this album would be beneficial, perhaps almost theraputic, to many. What’s perhaps most important about how successfully it translates via emotional connection to its listeners is how Wiltzie and O’Halloran never seek to embellish or dramatise its mood. The simplicity and naked honesty of these haunting, often achingly-gorgeous compositions is how they communicate on the most basic of human levels. A Winged Victory For The Sullen can evoke those feelings of sadness and happiness in equal measure and there are moments where one may feel like crying or smiling, often within the same song. These very mature and considered soundscapes are the work of two artists at the height of their game, born out of a mutual respect for one another and a dual mourning over the death of a mutual friend. Stripped of pretense and any expectations about what this music should sound like, A Winged Victory For The Sullen is one of the most impassioned and rewarding listens of the past year.

A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN
A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH 2011


Don’t called A Winged Victory For The Sullen a project. Don’t even call it a side-project, for these are terms that their two members would prefer you didn’t use. Ex-Sparklehorse member Adam Wiltzie and Los Angeles-based composer Dustin O’Halloran joined forces a few years ago and have created a beautiful sonic landscape that takes influence from modern classic music and ambient noise. Wiltzie and O’Halloran met in Italy in 2007 when Wiltzie was performing on the road with Sparklehorse. It’s through learning that O’Halloran composed the piano score to Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (of which Wiltzie and his fellow artist partner Christina Vantzou were big fans) that a friendship was born and, subsequently, A Winged Victory For The Sullen. The outfit’s self-titled debut also features cellist Hildur Gudnadottir and violinist Peter Broderick and was recorded at a time of immense changes in their personal lives, deepened further by the sudden death of Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkous. As a result it is a very melancholy record that feels worlds away from the alternative rock of Sparklehorse and closer to the ambient drone of Wiltzie’s work as one half of Stars Of The Lid. O’Halloran, meanwhile, is best known for his work as a pianist and together they have intersected at a point where post-rock meets modern classical arrangements to create a record of profoundly moving and surprisingly uplifting music.


In this sense A Winged Victory For The Sullen feels like the very definition of the term ‘collaboration’, a joining of like-minded individuals already working within a field that is still seeking proper definition. Completely without vocals, the record is composed of the subtlest of textures; the hushed orchestration and the fragile piano phrasings are minimal in the most fulfilling ways imaginable, never meandering too far or ruminating for too long on a particular sound and resolving to a logical conclusion that always feels poignant. As is the case with many instrumental/ambient records such as this, repeated listens allow us to become entrenched in the sounds and it’s the anticipation of a rising orchestral swell or the reintroduction of a single variation on a piano note which resonates far deeper than words ever could. The notion of the record striking two very different chords throughout is one that remains.


Indeed, its title brings together the words ‘victory’ and ‘sullen’ in a way that forces us to consider the duality of such words and it’s also perhaps important to consider that this is a self-titled release. Through bringing together such words on a collaborative outing, I’m forced to question whether future endeavors will prolong this idea of mutual sadness and happiness that their sound evokes to such a powerful degree. In actuality, ‘victory’ does not suggest happiness so much as ‘triumph’ does, and the opening track to the record says enough in its discursive title to implant an idea that befits the sound of its beautiful piano chords. We Played Some Open Chords And Rejoiced, For The Earth Had Circled The Sun Yet Another Year feels like a silent victory lap that plays out on a yearly basis and goes unbeknown to most, questioning the massiveness of the universe within a specific context. Gently brooding and pulling on a very strong gravity from its emotional core, it is one of the finest, most pure sounds in my recent memory. My head is filled with images from films such as Von Trier’s Melancholia, Mike Cahill and Brit Marling’s Another Earth and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and that’s not just merely because of its filmic, score-like introduction.


Requiem For The Static King, Part One and Two build gradual ambient soundscapes that roll along with the most minimal of drone before introducing a glistening piano refrain towards the centre of the latter. Minuet For A Cheap Piano Number Two blurs drone, piano droplets and cello into a muted concoction whilst Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears emerges in a similar fashion before intensifying to a swelling, surging crescendo. The sample of distant, encircling fireworks towards the end of All Farewells Are Sudden suggests an ultimate delight or accomplishment. There’s no doubt in my mind that A Winged Victory For The Sullen would evoke feelings of sorrow even if the knowledge of Wiltzie and O’Halloran’s melancholy moods around the time of recording were unknown. Wiltzie has commented on his disappointment with the often low turn out at live shows that he and O’Halloran have been putting on in support of this record, which is a great shame. Yet this isn’t music built for the rat race. It takes time to seep in and reveal its layers, and time isn’t what many city dwellers have a lot of. Of course, it’s what people need and taking 45 minutes out of an evening to really unwind to this album would be beneficial, perhaps almost theraputic, to many.


What’s perhaps most important about how successfully it translates via emotional connection to its listeners is how Wiltzie and O’Halloran never seek to embellish or dramatise its mood. The simplicity and naked honesty of these haunting, often achingly-gorgeous compositions is how they communicate on the most basic of human levels. A Winged Victory For The Sullen can evoke those feelings of sadness and happiness in equal measure and there are moments where one may feel like crying or smiling, often within the same song. These very mature and considered soundscapes are the work of two artists at the height of their game, born out of a mutual respect for one another and a dual mourning over the death of a mutual friend. Stripped of pretense and any expectations about what this music should sound like, A Winged Victory For The Sullen is one of the most impassioned and rewarding listens of the past year.

A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLENA WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLENORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH 2011Don’t called A Winged Victory For The Sullen a project. Don’t even call it a side-project, for these are terms that their two members would prefer you didn’t use. Ex-Sparklehorse member Adam Wiltzie and Los Angeles-based composer Dustin O’Halloran joined forces a few years ago and have created a beautiful sonic landscape that takes influence from modern classic music and ambient noise. Wiltzie and O’Halloran met in Italy in 2007 when Wiltzie was performing on the road with Sparklehorse. It’s through learning that O’Halloran composed the piano score to Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (of which Wiltzie and his fellow artist partner Christina Vantzou were big fans) that a friendship was born and, subsequently, A Winged Victory For The Sullen. The outfit’s self-titled debut also features cellist Hildur Gudnadottir and violinist Peter Broderick and was recorded at a time of immense changes in their personal lives, deepened further by the sudden death of Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkous. As a result it is a very melancholy record that feels worlds away from the alternative rock of Sparklehorse and closer to the ambient drone of Wiltzie’s work as one half of Stars Of The Lid. O’Halloran, meanwhile, is best known for his work as a pianist and together they have intersected at a point where post-rock meets modern classical arrangements to create a record of profoundly moving and surprisingly uplifting music.In this sense A Winged Victory For The Sullen feels like the very definition of the term ‘collaboration’, a joining of like-minded individuals already working within a field that is still seeking proper definition. Completely without vocals, the record is composed of the subtlest of textures; the hushed orchestration and the fragile piano phrasings are minimal in the most fulfilling ways imaginable, never meandering too far or ruminating for too long on a particular sound and resolving to a logical conclusion that always feels poignant. As is the case with many instrumental/ambient records such as this, repeated listens allow us to become entrenched in the sounds and it’s the anticipation of a rising orchestral swell or the reintroduction of a single variation on a piano note which resonates far deeper than words ever could. The notion of the record striking two very different chords throughout is one that remains.Indeed, its title brings together the words ‘victory’ and ‘sullen’ in a way that forces us to consider the duality of such words and it’s also perhaps important to consider that this is a self-titled release. Through bringing together such words on a collaborative outing, I’m forced to question whether future endeavors will prolong this idea of mutual sadness and happiness that their sound evokes to such a powerful degree. In actuality, ‘victory’ does not suggest happiness so much as ‘triumph’ does, and the opening track to the record says enough in its discursive title to implant an idea that befits the sound of its beautiful piano chords. We Played Some Open Chords And Rejoiced, For The Earth Had Circled The Sun Yet Another Year feels like a silent victory lap that plays out on a yearly basis and goes unbeknown to most, questioning the massiveness of the universe within a specific context. Gently brooding and pulling on a very strong gravity from its emotional core, it is one of the finest, most pure sounds in my recent memory. My head is filled with images from films such as Von Trier’s Melancholia, Mike Cahill and Brit Marling’s Another Earth and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and that’s not just merely because of its filmic, score-like introduction.Requiem For The Static King, Part One and Two build gradual ambient soundscapes that roll along with the most minimal of drone before introducing a glistening piano refrain towards the centre of the latter. Minuet For A Cheap Piano Number Two blurs drone, piano droplets and cello into a muted concoction whilst Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears emerges in a similar fashion before intensifying to a swelling, surging crescendo. The sample of distant, encircling fireworks towards the end of All Farewells Are Sudden suggests an ultimate delight or accomplishment. There’s no doubt in my mind that A Winged Victory For The Sullen would evoke feelings of sorrow even if the knowledge of Wiltzie and O’Halloran’s melancholy moods around the time of recording were unknown. Wiltzie has commented on his disappointment with the often low turn out at live shows that he and O’Halloran have been putting on in support of this record, which is a great shame. Yet this isn’t music built for the rat race. It takes time to seep in and reveal its layers, and time isn’t what many city dwellers have a lot of. Of course, it’s what people need and taking 45 minutes out of an evening to really unwind to this album would be beneficial, perhaps almost theraputic, to many. What’s perhaps most important about how successfully it translates via emotional connection to its listeners is how Wiltzie and O’Halloran never seek to embellish or dramatise its mood. The simplicity and naked honesty of these haunting, often achingly-gorgeous compositions is how they communicate on the most basic of human levels. A Winged Victory For The Sullen can evoke those feelings of sadness and happiness in equal measure and there are moments where one may feel like crying or smiling, often within the same song. These very mature and considered soundscapes are the work of two artists at the height of their game, born out of a mutual respect for one another and a dual mourning over the death of a mutual friend. Stripped of pretense and any expectations about what this music should sound like, A Winged Victory For The Sullen is one of the most impassioned and rewarding listens of the past year.

A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN
A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 12TH 2011


Don’t called A Winged Victory For The Sullen a project. Don’t even call it a side-project, for these are terms that their two members would prefer you didn’t use. Ex-Sparklehorse member Adam Wiltzie and Los Angeles-based composer Dustin O’Halloran joined forces a few years ago and have created a beautiful sonic landscape that takes influence from modern classic music and ambient noise. Wiltzie and O’Halloran met in Italy in 2007 when Wiltzie was performing on the road with Sparklehorse. It’s through learning that O’Halloran composed the piano score to Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette (of which Wiltzie and his fellow artist partner Christina Vantzou were big fans) that a friendship was born and, subsequently, A Winged Victory For The Sullen. The outfit’s self-titled debut also features cellist Hildur Gudnadottir and violinist Peter Broderick and was recorded at a time of immense changes in their personal lives, deepened further by the sudden death of Sparklehorse frontman Mark Linkous. As a result it is a very melancholy record that feels worlds away from the alternative rock of Sparklehorse and closer to the ambient drone of Wiltzie’s work as one half of Stars Of The Lid. O’Halloran, meanwhile, is best known for his work as a pianist and together they have intersected at a point where post-rock meets modern classical arrangements to create a record of profoundly moving and surprisingly uplifting music.


In this sense A Winged Victory For The Sullen feels like the very definition of the term ‘collaboration’, a joining of like-minded individuals already working within a field that is still seeking proper definition. Completely without vocals, the record is composed of the subtlest of textures; the hushed orchestration and the fragile piano phrasings are minimal in the most fulfilling ways imaginable, never meandering too far or ruminating for too long on a particular sound and resolving to a logical conclusion that always feels poignant. As is the case with many instrumental/ambient records such as this, repeated listens allow us to become entrenched in the sounds and it’s the anticipation of a rising orchestral swell or the reintroduction of a single variation on a piano note which resonates far deeper than words ever could. The notion of the record striking two very different chords throughout is one that remains.


Indeed, its title brings together the words ‘victory’ and ‘sullen’ in a way that forces us to consider the duality of such words and it’s also perhaps important to consider that this is a self-titled release. Through bringing together such words on a collaborative outing, I’m forced to question whether future endeavors will prolong this idea of mutual sadness and happiness that their sound evokes to such a powerful degree. In actuality, ‘victory’ does not suggest happiness so much as ‘triumph’ does, and the opening track to the record says enough in its discursive title to implant an idea that befits the sound of its beautiful piano chords. We Played Some Open Chords And Rejoiced, For The Earth Had Circled The Sun Yet Another Year feels like a silent victory lap that plays out on a yearly basis and goes unbeknown to most, questioning the massiveness of the universe within a specific context. Gently brooding and pulling on a very strong gravity from its emotional core, it is one of the finest, most pure sounds in my recent memory. My head is filled with images from films such as Von Trier’s Melancholia, Mike Cahill and Brit Marling’s Another Earth and Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and that’s not just merely because of its filmic, score-like introduction.


Requiem For The Static King, Part One and Two build gradual ambient soundscapes that roll along with the most minimal of drone before introducing a glistening piano refrain towards the centre of the latter. Minuet For A Cheap Piano Number Two blurs drone, piano droplets and cello into a muted concoction whilst Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears emerges in a similar fashion before intensifying to a swelling, surging crescendo. The sample of distant, encircling fireworks towards the end of All Farewells Are Sudden suggests an ultimate delight or accomplishment. There’s no doubt in my mind that A Winged Victory For The Sullen would evoke feelings of sorrow even if the knowledge of Wiltzie and O’Halloran’s melancholy moods around the time of recording were unknown. Wiltzie has commented on his disappointment with the often low turn out at live shows that he and O’Halloran have been putting on in support of this record, which is a great shame. Yet this isn’t music built for the rat race. It takes time to seep in and reveal its layers, and time isn’t what many city dwellers have a lot of. Of course, it’s what people need and taking 45 minutes out of an evening to really unwind to this album would be beneficial, perhaps almost theraputic, to many.


What’s perhaps most important about how successfully it translates via emotional connection to its listeners is how Wiltzie and O’Halloran never seek to embellish or dramatise its mood. The simplicity and naked honesty of these haunting, often achingly-gorgeous compositions is how they communicate on the most basic of human levels. A Winged Victory For The Sullen can evoke those feelings of sadness and happiness in equal measure and there are moments where one may feel like crying or smiling, often within the same song. These very mature and considered soundscapes are the work of two artists at the height of their game, born out of a mutual respect for one another and a dual mourning over the death of a mutual friend. Stripped of pretense and any expectations about what this music should sound like, A Winged Victory For The Sullen is one of the most impassioned and rewarding listens of the past year.

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1YRON aims to shine the spotlight on albums exactly one year after their release. Presented as an alternative to writing about them instantaneously, I hope to recall the album in question with a fondness of time having passed. Perhaps you may even be inspired to go back and discover something new.

Since physical and digital release dates often vary worldwide (the US commonly a day after the UK for example, or for smaller releases, sometimes weeks or months apart), these reviews will only be published on their UK or US physical release date (whichever comes first).

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