Giant Eyes & Infant Steps by Whettman Chelmets

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Whettman Chelmets | Giant Eyes & Infant Steps
Girly Girl (CD/CS/DL)

Fatherhood is a unique experience, and translated into a psychedelic record like Giant Eyes & Infant Steps sort of makes sense. The loopy recording by Whettman Chelmets of Joplin (Missouri) opens with Interruptus, a quasi intro of animated surrealism, that moves right into the floating ambience of Da Da. Setting the stage to be thrust into a new all-present state-of-being is cast with taffy-like tones and a whole lotta chill here. He premiered this on the Phantom Circuit Radio program (Resonance Extra) and the moodiness is not at all interrupted between tracks, which I absolutely relish in a smart conceptual record such as this.  Once the reverb interrupts the lulls you can clearly understand the title TFW It’s 400 a.m. and You’ve Been Up 3 Times Already. In the stretched basslines I’m hearing something akin to the stream-of-consciousness of Godspeed You! Black Emperor or the fallout after a long break by Spiritualized – with an added anxious tension.

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There’s something personal and universal about this record, even when it drifts off to a Hawaiian twang on MRW I Drop the Passie in the Dark. If you indulged in the myth of the justified ancients of mu mu back in the day you might recognize some of the sparse chill markings, Chelmets manages to absorb and project an atmosphere that welcomes all into his world. At times it’s a playful setting via Giant Eyes and Infant Steps where swirling synths meet airy drones. The barely audible and heavily processed vocals (Elizabeth Joan Kelly and Jennifer Doll) within the mix lie in the cosmic outer rim nature of this orbiting marvel, not unlike the rotations of a cribside mobile. Something like this could easily steer towards the ‘Hallmark’ side of child rearing, instead the composer, though there are lots of peculiarly shaded elements throughout, tends to understand the delicate balance of serendipity and bewilderment on She Says Dada. The mood fluidly weaves between the uncanny and the spectacle.

This is one of those rare records that finds itself just outside the edges of consciousness (rightly so) and will be on intermittent repeat over the coming weeks.

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