On this newest collection of tunes, “Variable Happiness”, under the moniker Edsel Axle, her voice takes a winter hibernation to showcase the prodigious slow burn thump of her solo electric guitar playing. While this musical pivot may be a risk to some, the worlds of wilderness created within the music are easily navigated with clarity.
Recorded directly to a four-track cassette rig in the comfort of her own home- each chord struck exhales from the gear and onto magnetic tape, finding its true north, and throwing sand on the bonfire before it burns the foundation. First thought/best thought improvisations naturally trickling down and turning puddles into expansive streams of sound.
The opener, “Some Answer” seems to not have any question before it. As if it has always just been. A mode of intrinsic acceptance. Middleman confidently reigns in atonal midrange melodies and lets them rest in the bottom of the ocean. Every new movement coming up for air. Reviving consciousness, and letting go once more. The small combo amp on the recordings sounds like it’s being overloaded and exploding into a peace sign, before fading into the next tune.
The title track, “Variable Happiness” suggests that serenity is found within acceptance. It begins with a warm, simple, and circular groove. Bridging the giant landmasses of Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross” and Loren Connors. The light boogie has surgical tremolo dirge doing major brain work and re-wiring. Coming in and out of a hiccup. An easy meditation that sounds like laying on the perfect area rug after the perfect day.