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Earth’s Dylan Carlson Doesn’t Think His Music Is ‘Full of Depression’

Joseph P. Traina

“I don’t view us as dark as many people think we are,” Earth guitarist Dylan Carlson told Noisecreep. Though no one has ever called the drone forefather a writer of happy songs, a level of hope has clearly made its mark within the instrumental band’s more recent work. That includes their newest album, ‘Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1.’

“The new music we’ve been doing I think [has] a sense of optimism to it — in a weird way,” Carlson expounded. “I think music is powerful enough to contain multiple emotions simultaneously. I think there is a sense of melancholy in Earth, but not full of depression, I guess.”

‘Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light 1′ is actually filled with many moments that aren’t fully grim. Some of that may be the result of the album’s honest English folk influence on it, but it also might be in the album’s strong melodic core.

“I’ve always liked the idea of a song being as close to a lullaby as possible, where there are these timeless melodies that always seem to be there,” he admitted. “They have this quality that you swear you’ve heard it before, but then you can’t quite place it. If I can accomplish that then I feel successful.”

He added, “That’s one thing I like about the new lineup — the emphasis of melody.”

The album’s opener, ‘Old Black,’ came from Carlson and longtime drummer Adrienne Davies jamming, with a certain kind of melody needed for the song. “She said, ‘Try something Neil Young-ish. It ended up sounding not very Neil Young-ish at all. It was also the first time I tried to write in a minor key. I was also trying to do a ‘song’ song instead of a big long thing.”

Creating a timeless layer for Earth’s newest incarnation is cellist Lori Goldston. Some might remember her for performing on Nirvana‘s ‘Unplugged’ recording. “I like the way she approaches the cello, because she plays a lot of different kinds of music,” Carlson explained. Goldston has also collaborated with Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.

“It seems a lot of times, trying to work with people who play those kinds of instruments are sort of constrained because of their training; because they’re from the classical training which is a whole other act. She [plays the cello] as a rock instrument, playing it through an amp and using effects.”

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