Album of the Week: A Winged Victory for the Sullen: Invisible Cities

I dropped in on A Winged Victory for the Sullen for their self-titled debut album back in 2011 and keep a lookout for anything new. Like a hawk.

Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie are the wizards behind AWVFTS and their new record, Invisible Cities, was composed for a dance theater production of Italo Calvino’s novel of the same name which brings to life a series of fantastical places and disparate worlds, centred on the tense relationship between Kublai Khan, the volatile head of a vast empire, and explorer Marco Polo. But that doesn’t really matter as the record stands on its own terms, building imagined structures and dreams inside the listener’s mind, ripe for exploration.

The band describes some of the songs on Invisible Cities as choral ambience and piercing drone, which go a long way in setting the tone for the entire record. Angelic sweeping light-filled heights fall to sputtering dust like some great demolition of desire, while the record twists, sways, and turns through time rendering a story in song as moving as it is bereft of physical form, built on sound structures that disappear in time like tears in the rain (reference intentional).

Invisible Cities is 42 minutes of breathtaking expanse, a great yawing moment for these troubled times.