Maple Glider - To Enjoy Is the Only Thing Music Album Reviews

Maple Glider - To Enjoy Is the Only Thing Music Album Reviews
The Melbourne-based songwriter’s debut is sparse and hypnotic, drawing connections between her experiences of leaving a relationship and leaving a religious upbringing.

Tori Zeitsch’s music aches with loss. The threadbare folk the Melbourne-based singer and songwriter makes as Maple Glider is skeletal in the most literal sense—absent of flesh, only intermittently lively, spare by necessity rather than choice. Her debut album, To Enjoy Is the Only Thing, conveys the hollow ache of being alone, the way loss wastes away at one’s very being. Early on in the record, she sings, plaintively: “I’ve served coffee in five different cities now.” Although she delivers the line with a smile—as an aside to a friend with whom she’s fallen out—it’s a vivid, visceral depiction of loneliness.

To Enjoy Is the Only Thing’s narrative throughline is transcience. Written during a period Zeitsch spent travelling in Europe and Asia while undergoing a protracted breakup, the album is rich with markers of unfamiliar places and experiences: a harsh, black-and-white coastline, a chilly Northern Hemisphere December, uncannily delicious red wine. But these vignettes are in service of something larger: To Enjoy Is the Only Thing draws connections between Zeitsch’s experiences of leaving a relationship and extricating herself from her religious upbringing. The album is less concerned with how it feels to lose another than how it feels to lose the feeling of devotion itself, and the act of finding yourself anew.

The way Zeitsch layers her metaphors—physical rootlessness as romantic rootlessness as spiritual rootlessness—could be impenetrably heady. But despite their sparseness, the album’s songs are hypnotic and tightly structured. On the chorus of “Swimming,” words cascade like beads cut from a string as Zeitsch translates a look from a lover into something dangerously liturgical: “Tell me my body has/Been so beautifully lived in/I almost fell apart/When you looked straight at my heart.” The lyric is ingratiating and incantatory, a deft translation of the way casual words from a partner can feel all too controlling. “Friend” plays like a Carpenters song slowed down and stripped bare; Zeitsch’s lyrics about the dissolution of a band and a friendship are made deceptively bright through their gorgeous, sighing melody: “Friend, you were on both sides/Pulling me up and dragging me down.”

As on “Swimming,” To Enjoy Is the Only Thing finds tension in parallels between submission to a lover and submission to a higher power, a kind of inversion of pop’s longstanding obsession with the sex-as-prayer metaphor. On opener “As Tradition,” the comparison is simple and discomfiting (“You and God, baby, love me the best/When I’m laid to rest/And only my body is left”) but on “Performer,” sex becomes a site of self-determination: “I do not know this man/But he is in my bedroom unfurling/And I am uncertain I can play as I have played before/But I am a performer, of course I’ll perform.” Neither song is particularly condemnatory; instead, they act as gentle explorations of meaning, ways of replacing one long-held belief with another.

To Enjoy Is the Only Thing is produced by Zeitsch and Tom Iansek, co-founder of Zeitsch’s Australian label Pieater. They practice careful, admirable restraint, barely expanding the record’s palette beyond gently fingerpicked acoustic guitar, piano, and a muffled kick; more leftfield details, such as the scramble of an AM radio on “Swimming,” are often only perceptible with headphones. There is one exception: On “Good Thing,” the record’s sweltering highlight, electric guitar and a full drum kit provide outsized heft. Zeitsch lets her voice rise to a rich, resonant belt, cutting off a relationship for the good of herself and her partner: “I guess that’s how we learn/By setting fire to things that bring us life/Before we’ve got to watch them burn.” In contrast to the uneasy ambiguities of the rest of the album, “Good Thing” provides a resolute, cathartic ending. The revelation, as hard-won as it may be, feels profound: There’s meaning enough in one’s own self-possession.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Maple Glider - To Enjoy Is the Only Thing Music Album Reviews Maple Glider - To Enjoy Is the Only Thing Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on July 05, 2021 Rating: 5


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