Single Review: Cosmic Neighbourhood - "Elf House"

Cosmic Neighbourhood - Elf House
(2016 Kit Records)

The inflatable witch keeping watch over your neighbor's front yard, (standing about eight feet high with traditional green skin and pointed features), keels over on its jointless limbs and lets out a final wheeze before curling up in a mattress of unraked leaves. Its shed shell, limp and rubbery, is prodded by the curious paw of a leashed Labrador making a pit stop on a queasy patch of arid lawn. It is dragged a few feet by a brief bout of violent wind, but remains tethered to a post hammered into the earthy flesh of the suburbs. A few squirrels burrow their way beneath the deflated blanket, hiding beneath its wrinkled folds. The whole block anxiously awaits the emergence of a human figure from the shadows of the home's front porch to resuscitate the fallen Colossus, but the moment never comes. For the rest of October, and through the winter months that follow, the witch preserves its prostration in the snow-draped foliage. On New Years' Eve, when the balloon has been all but forgotten, a trio of elves tiptoe through the yard and hoist the pile of drenched latex onto their shoulders, whistling this tune as they ferry it to the nearest landfill.

Cosmic Neighbourhood is the whimsical musique-concrete project of British illustrator Adam Higton, his latest effort, "Elf House", employing the same unadulterated color palettes and safety scissored constructions that accent his visual pieces. The new tune, which is slated to appear on his upcoming Collages II LP via Kit Records this October, feels like a field recording conducted from the inside of a particularly optimistic picture book, buzzing synth chords billowing like smoke from tape-reel chimneys while springy sound effects litter the aural backdrop. Imagine Beat Happening covering Eno's Music For Airports on a Fisher-Price tape deck.