Rook | End Of Sea
“The motion sound that pulls you into outer space, catapults you onto a bed of moving pieces. It’s another clever use of sound to speak on Rook’s debut record End Of Sea. From previously covering her music as small previews that amounted to this debut, it’s become clear getting asked to write about music is as much a conversation with the artist as it is time I spend walking around and taking all the sounds in. But let’s dive in, sounds have a much deeper purpose–often intention ridden, and the rhythms employed can act in an anthropomorphous manner, it’s a type of thematic feeling found across every song on this record. Consonance is a group of tones that are harmonious when sounded together, the word comes to the front of my mind, just like the way the electric noises dance around on your forehead. The track sequence moves the pieces around in circles from forefront, to background, to multi-layers, by the third song “Brother,” you hear a jangly starlit guitar off in the distance and a single close mic’d vocal, after static energy begins the album into a familiar esthetic domain on End Of Sea: tribal movement of rhythms not exclusively used or tied to and by traditional Rhythm instrumentations. But it’s hard for me to say what I like the most about this esthetic, an idea and story by Tara Rook; after all i’m an artist in her neighborhood and no “art-critic,” but I like to think of music as reflective, and when I find something that gives me that feeling, I feel relieved! It’s something you can listen to intensely and also free-associate to. I find little reason an artist should give into the pressure to pump a “banger” out every music cycle, but rather take your time and be a person outside of the music; so you can look back on it and say possibly, wow, that’s a form of me! “I took an in depth snapshot of myself,” however many amount of days, months, and years ago,–but I digress, Rook a mirror for her music, and while that may be true, that mirror doesn’t have to always be about her, the music is sonically reflective of the themes of decay and discovery enough, creative use of multi-panning gives you the feeling of moving parts, and your role amongst them undoubtably questioned. But for Tara Rook the person, this entire debut probably means something more to her as an individual than we can ever know, a first full length record is block of time spent! When we were exchanging ideas recently, she stated, “It’s the first full album I’ve created. A lot of the songs I’ve pieced together from when I first started writing music, which at this point was 7 years ago. I needed to get the things out of my head and possession, clean them up the best I could, solidify them and put them out into the world. So it feels pretty good, like a weight has been lifted off my chest, or like when you clean out your closet or organize a messy drawer in a desk (I can be kind of a neat freak).”
I wanted to know the basic takeaway from this block of time, she said, “As a whole I wanted to create a more pulsing, driving feel, then to really chill out at points like “I Still Care” going in to “Brother” or “Someone’s Sun” going in to “Before It’s Cold.” An old song like “We Find” I wrote on guitar when I was 19. It’s the oldest song on the album and was actually one of the first songs I wrote that I felt really came out of my subconscious. After hearing that a friend had passed away, I kept having these dreams about him. I woke up from one and wrote this really simple song on an acoustic guitar. It was the first time some one really close to me had passed away and I was struggling with letting go of their existence, the fact that I would never see them again. I named it “A Posteriori” which means to learn from experience, it’s also his initials, A.P. I had plans back then to front a shoe-gazey MBV-esque band so the song for awhile the song had heavy, dreamy strums, but that didn’t go far so I toned it down eventually and gave it a more electronic/ambient feel. I guess a lot of the other songs are relationship-based. I went through a breakup a couple years ago, it was pretty rough, hit really hard and caused a lot of confusion in my head. At this point in my life it also happened to be the first time I had a “real” apartment in the city. Since I moved to the city I lived in a loft with five other people where my room didn’t even have a door and I’m a fairly short girl and I could barely stand up. I also lived in a living room at one point with no windows and at one point I shared a room with my best friend for a couple months. So basically it was the first time in years I had an actual room and a sense of privacy with my own space. I would just lock myself in my room and work on music every morning and every night. It felt kind of lonely and I was pretty sad then but it really helped me to get over things and move on. A couple songs from that era came about like “Before It’s Cold”, “Everything an Echo”, and “A Great Love.” I guess a lot of the songs on the album are relationship-based, but friendships as well. “Brother” for instance is about a good friend of mine who feels like my brother, I always wanted one growing up and feel pretty lucky I have someone close enough in that way. The titles in the second half of the album starting with “For Whatever We Lose” are lines from an E.E. Cummings poem. Poetry is a big thing for me and runs through my family, in “In The Sea” I pulled some lines from a poem my mother wrote.”
As the record inches towards the end, you’ll be drifting on your way towards track 12, “In The Sea,” joined by an outro track that motions you out, adrift. For this week it’s been my kind of album I can take with me on a walk to the pier off Kent Avenue, Rook and the crystalized sounds are so necessary on the digital serato because they were made from a certain collage experience. As Tara had stated about her personal experience writing this mostly alone, so does it accompany you on that frequency wave far past an end of any kind.