An eerie electronic project from Madison celebrates a new EP. Info
Madison-based multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Courtney Jarman's project Mori Mente works in a shadowy territory between electronic music and swooning lounge jazz. Jarman seems pretty drawn to eccentric musical hybrids, having contributed keyboards and vocals to the math-rock-y outfit Dharmonic Deluxe, played drums here and there for experimental rock project Glassmen, and laid a foundation of monster drumming and eerie falsetto vocals in the bizarro surf-rock trio Myrmidons. The mix of sounds that intrigue Jarman as a producer, songwriter, and bandleader keeps on shifting on Mori Mente's new EP, Comparison (The Thief Of Joy), which will be celebrated at this show.
The EP's opening track, "The Dark Prince," starts with a lush, mournful synth passage, which then pulls back as Jarman uses her versatile voice to sing what sounds like a cracked nursery rhyme: "Stuff your gob with blackbird pie / But you're never satisfied / I will take the long way to happiness again." All the pieces together form a woozy and waltzing strain of goth-pop, undercut with strings, nylon-stringed guitar, and even melodica. The remaining three tracks are instrumentals that meander through a moody take on surf guitar ("Serenade"), darkly dazzling synth explorations ("Black Lodge"), and a finale that's a bit closer to—but never quite—a straightforward beat-driven electronic track ("Golden Arrow"). It's not always easy to get your bearings in Mori Mente's music, but Jarman's gift for melody and clear, tense arrangements make it easy to stay absorbed. —Scott Gordon