"Strewn out chords wail under that uneasy tempo, creating the soundtrack to that nightmare scenario where you find yourself lost and isolated under a veil of shadows and silhouettes"
Montreal-based 18 Seconds is the solo project of post-rock/ambient artist and composer Pascal Normand. Pascal’s music employs a wide palette of emotions and images with the help of an affluent sonic aesthetic, intertwined in rich melodic tapestries which explore the darker side of the human soul. With influences taken from a broad spectrum of music, inspiration shines in the form of bands like the world renowned The Smashing Pumpkins and the dark and atmospherically brilliant Godspeed You! Black Emperor. 18 Seconds latest offering À l'ombre des cyprès (In the shade of cypresses) is a musical quest without boundaries that navigates through the agitated waters of anxiety, fear and even anger. Music has this incredible ability to consume and sheathe the listener, and in doing so, it always finds a way to move and soothe the soul. Sit back, relax and let this five track EP transport you through all these emotions and much more besides.
The opening track Sur mon corps pousseront des arbres (On my body will grow trees) ambles in under a blanket of synths a distorted guitars, slow and sombre. Beautiful tremolo guitars caress and comfort your senses and any dark connotations that were lurking behind you are brushed aside momentarily. That is until the track fuzzes and hisses its way into a passage of noise and measured consternation, that fills your head with concern and disquiet, and it's those feelings which are carried into the following track, Your God is Black and Green with its sinister groove that haunts and niggles at your subconscious. Strewn out chords wail under that uneasy tempo, creating the soundtrack to that nightmare scenario where you find yourself lost and isolated under a veil of shadows and silhouettes. There’s something oddly comforting in it, maybe thats due to the fact that you can wake from it, but that melody will always stick with you, and as this track builds, it grows in weight and intensity, making sure you never forget.
For Gene, is a very different composition, and floats on a feathered bed of gently plucked strings under a delicate synthesised breeze. It’s short, it’s sweet and is the perfect interlude, before the celestial and heavenly Je suis la poussière dans ton troisième oeil (I am the dust in your third eye) whispers and blows through your headspace. It’s a simple but very moving melody, that’s illuminmated by those angelic atmospherics and transcendent rhythms.
The EP closes with Jeux de mains, jeux demain (hand games, games tomorrow) and again, it’s a restful and empyrean piece of music that incorporates a little brass and wind to bring the curtain down on a thoroughly enjoyable and almost therapeutic EP, that has your undivided attention without ever having to shake and rattle your bones. Its hypnotic and slumbrous qualities are a welcome change for anyone who feels the need to listen to something a little different from time to time, for someone who needs escape from all the chaos that can so often consume and devour us. 18 Seconds gives you that portal.