The Hausu Mountain label had a great year in 2015, and it was bookended by two fantastic albums of electronic-psych-folk by Eartheater. Like February’s Metalepsis, this album combines the dreamy, underwater vibe of Grouper with haunted backwoods folksiness and shimmering synth textures. But there are some key differences. RIP Chrysalis, as an album title, signifies the end of a period of change. You rip the chrysalis and emerge, and then it’s R.I.P. Chrysalis. If this is the end of a period of transition, what has emerged is impressive: It’s a more grounded and vital record, shedding some of its predecessor’s aloof spaciness for a lived-in, malleable sound.
Eartheater’s Alexandra Drewchin got her start with the indescribable Guardian Alien, but this emergence from the chrysalis has, to my ears, transcended that band and her earlier solo work by an impressive margin. Eartheater is unlike anything else I’ve heard all year, but sounds ageless. It’s almost limiting to call it psychedelia. There’s an atavistic, pre-verbal ritual quality at play in its finest moments. It draws you in immediately, and stays with you long after it’s over. Truly sublime.
RIP Chrysalis is available now from Hausu Mountain.