Imagine the scene in The Shawshank Redemption when Andy plays the record over the PA system as the ladies sing about something so beautiful it couldn’t be put in words. Sera Timms has put words to the music though it’s almost a distant background accompaniment. Like a distant alluring voice in the mist or a hypnotic, subliminal call in a dream.
Black Mare is Los Angeles based Timms’ solo endeavor when not fronting Ides of Gemini and the former Black Math Horseman. Mare, hits home painting landscapes with music, vocals and whatever the listener’s imagination adds to it.
The voice may be beautiful but the subject matter is dark as the music goes from tranquil to atmospheric to different levels of discomfort and creative unease. Hollywood being the land of hope, luster and broken dreams, her voice could indulge and heighten the excess to success or slowly seep out from a skid row thrown bottle.
Sounding like a one-woman dark side of ABBA as the siren calls, through hypnotic verse and song with sound celebrations from meditative and prayerful to dancefloor centric. A delivery that hits the ears with a certain mysterious allure making the listener lean in closer.
Black Mare takes soothing, danceable inspiration from Siouxsie, avant-garde, trance-like form, and ‘80s flair.
Lyrics flow like Poe’s verse, the raven’s stare to the dove’s rebirth and Babylon’s flamed flirtation salted by the sea. Clear understanding on delivery isn’t always necessary when the raw emotion is heard and experienced. Timms accomplishes everything from euphoria to eerie phantasy during Death Magick Mother’s seven songs. A voice fit for nature but not something mother-nature ever planned. Some tunes sounding Eden-like while others sound like they brought the darkness after the bite.
Notes begin “Ingress to Form” like astral specters as drums hit with ceremonial intent. Guitars sway the movement of bodies conjoined in circular motion. Smokey incense ascends the air, like floating ideas as ingested drinks add personality to the room’s behavior. Vocals are mystical, atmospheric, whimsical, and beautifully inaudible carrying an angelic kiss.
“Femme Couverte” travels like a sharp silhouette dressed in flowing shadows with vocals riding on the clouds, tranquil, as guitars get crankier.
The ceremony begins on “Death By Desire” as spotlights hit the stage and the dancers step to perform taking their spaces. The dance floor runs slow and rhythmic but all are intertwined and connected by the music, in different display. Guitars make sure the story is told.
“Coral Vaults” seeps to Mediterranean depths reflecting off cavern walls. Vocals like a wandering wayward spirit, roam tormented in distant corridors speaking ancient stories. A voice almost ghostlike, you’d expect EMF’s to go off.
“Kala” sounds of a charmers lullaby as guitars produce white noise and static distraction as “Inverted Tower” closes in a somber Tool-like slow groove.
It’s a unique voyage of haunting enrapture, you’ll want to take.
Photo: Kristin Cofer