Official press release:
Droneroom is the nom de strum of Blake Edward Conley, a certified Kentucky Colonel and the self-professed “Cowboy of Drone”. Conley has demonstrated his ability to drift, twang, and sear over the course of numerous releases (including …The Other Doesn’t, Neon Depression, and Negative Libra), but on his new album, he does something he has never done before. While prior drone releases have predominantly featured the stinging bite of his telecaster and the occasional wash of lapsteel, Conley finally succumbs to the lure of having the acoustic be at the forefront.
Recorded by Conley at Here There Are No Answers in Las Vegas and mastered by Jason Lamoreaux in Shepherdsville KY, this is hardly Droneroom ‘Unplugged’. Conley allows the naturalistic chime of the instrument to be warped by beds of drones, his walls of effect pedals, and unexpected field recordings to create an atmosphere that feels both out of and deeply embedded in the world.
The title Whatever Truthful Understanding is derived from the dedication in a century old book about the history of Kentucky. The music was written in the wake of an emotionally taxing relocation from Louisville to the cosmopolitan blight of Las Vegas. Conley has often made music that reflects the wider expanses of the desert, but living in a city surrounded by it has opened up his sound even further. Here he displays finger picking that drones, that leads, that bounces, that grinds. Tempos flutter like ripples on ponds, notes cascading like rain on rooftops. Here Conley truly embraces guitar techniques he hasn’t before.
“God Does Not Help Those Who Are Invisible” begins with the sound of crickets before drifting into a twangy nocturne, a pensive walk through a desert landscape of trying to find one’s self. This is embellished by the ending which features the sounds of a car starting resulting in a static wave of radio sounds which drops us into “Just One More Thing”. This track’s Junior Kimbrough-esque blues drone momentum definitely lends itself to a bad drive to something unseemly. This trip ends in a road hazard fever dream named “Mojave Pastoral”. This track is another first from Conley with the accompaniment of the Texolina Electric Lawyers. The TEL include Adrian Voorhies of Cortege on shirtless jazz swing and Keith RN Chandler of odd.circles on dual basses and their improvised performances to Conley’s guitar, along with a disembodied field recording of an unsettling trip, provide a hallucinogenic chamber performance. The comedown from this is “We Are The Creatures This Desert Makes Us”. The quietest and gentlest piece, it is the perfect lull before the storm that is “Beyond The Horse Gate”. This searing finale creeps in gently before building itself up into the loudest part of the whole record, the inevitable storm, the final decisive moment of clarity, what truly lies at the end of the journey.
Whatever Truthful Understanding arrives on April 15th, 2022 via Desert Records. Pre-order the effort via Droneroom’s Bandcamp.
Whatever Truthful Understanding track listing:
- “God Does Not Help Those Who Are Invisible”
- “Just One More Thing”
- “Mojave Pastoral”
- “We Are The Creatures This Desert Makes Us”
- “Beyond the Horse Gate”
[Stream via The Obelisk]