Richly cinematic exercises in audio journaling on this Modern Love debut.
Flora Yin-Wong is a multidisciplinary artist and journalist. She jots down ideas and records the near-and-far places she visits on her iPhone, capturing the humdrum of daily life in her music. Centred on the premise of memory, her debut LP, Holy Palm, is part meditative audio-diary, part hauntological soundscape. Gregorian chants, the sound of wind and gravel, and recordings of UKG playing through a muffled car stereo all appear, as listed in the record's liner notes. The influence of Burial, The Caretaker and the writing of the late Mark Fisher comes immediately to the fore in this exercise in world-building.
The record begins all clacks and temple chimes on "Tirta Empul." Yin-Wong leads us down a windswept path on "Vale," an organ heaving along with off keys in what sounds like a dust cloud with an impenetrable orange hue. "Martyrr" features some soul-stirring chanting from a Greek priest. "Bitterness" is a different beast. Plucked strings give way to dense electronics that, for a fleeting moment, sound Balearic.
Yin-Wong steps into the club briefly on "Diyu," though there are much richer moments elsewhere on this record. Slow trance stabs appear on "Terra," which elicits an eerie metamorphosis of the psyche. If this were a film score, this would be the moment we uncover a shocking twist in the plot.
The record culminates with "Loci," a 30-minute sound collage of field recordings in two parts. Trains rushing over tracks, more chanting, conversations, parties—the imagination runs wild. In geometry, a locus is a fixed point. On Holy Palm, individual recordings join up to form a constellation of loci, reflecting Yin-Wong's aural universe. This album is a deeply personal system, a memoir and a remarkable experiment in audio-journaling.
Tracklist01. Tirta Empul
08. Wood For The Trees
10. Of The Ferns
11. Loci I
12. Loci II