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For her fifth offering, Pantaleimon, aka Andria Degens, delivers nine songs of dark, dreamy psychedelia with the help of co-producer and former Bad Seed, Hugo Race.
The Butterfly Ate The Pearl explores the light dancing in the shadows of darkness. Degens’ soothing vocals and uplifting lyrics shine through the music, which, at times, can be solemn and droning, though never outright morose. Fire, forests, flying animals and astral mysticism all play a key role in shaping the stories, providing metaphors for moments that can only be expressed philosophically. In the opening “Ember,” perhaps the most rock-based song on the album, a doubter is called upon to renew their faith and embrace the flame of love, while the title track explores a loss of innocence that could also be traumatizing, and “Morning Star,” a duet of sorts with Will Oldham, describes the confusion of physical and spiritual transformation. “Summer Reigns,” the only instrumental, sees Degens and Oasis‘ live keyboard player, Jay Darlington (who also appears on “Ember”), create a spacey soundscape fit for Hawkwind. When it’s over, there is a sense of completion, that the story has been told in full without leaving anything out.
Though Pantaleimon revels in shadows, her music is never overly goth-y in the cartoon sense. These are songs of truth and beauty that can only be told by one who has learned from experience. Kiss the hand of wisdom…and learn.
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