Nothing is absolute in the mythology of Gloom Balloon. Drying The Eyes of the Goddess of Gloom the sophomore album from the band dwells in the darkest shadows of the heart, where the sounds slide in all directions, ambiguity reigns, and realistic thought no longer serves. This album is an audacious attempt to mount a fully orchestrated, classically minded conceptual work within the context of contemporary indie rock record, the album is both forward-thinking and backward-minded, a collision of bygone musical styles and one of the most ambitious records you are likely to hear this year.
Gloom Balloon is ex-indie rock troubadour/new father Patrick Tape Fleming's musical canvas where he's prone to expressing undying admiration and withering disdain for the same person, often in the same sentence. The album kicks off with the LoFi sounds of his new born baby son Nilsson crying/singing in the background while Tape Flaming sings, "I'll buy you a poster for your birthday, maybe a cookie cake? I know the password to your phone, you know how to make my heart break, I just wanted to let you know how pissed I was at you for coming into my life way to late." Just as you think this album is going to be a mess of iphone-fidelity recordings by a broken man, the angelic gospel whispers of bandmate Christopher Ford (Christopher the Conquered) singing in multi layered voices, sings, "Oh Fuck Yeah." hinting that you have made it through the trenches of the fidelity bardo and it's now time to travel into another world all together.
From there, Gloom Balloon goes chasing the longest of long shots, spurred on by a his faith in love even though it's stated multiple times here that it's hard to be in love, he's found transcendence in the burning in her eyes, the collapsing of her lung, between her thighs, while tasting the beer on her tongue, and while touching her cold fingers. He laments these bygone moments of love with overwhelming affection; his past tense descriptions of intimate moments are so vividly wrought, they reveal him all but consumed by the memory. There is an icy wit to the lyrics but also a new depth of sensitivity for Gloom Balloon. "I forgot to brush my teeth today, so I can still taste you in my mouth. You might not take this as a compliment, but you're as dirty as the south.. and I never want to be clean again. I hate it when you leave, your my only friend."
Love is portrayed as a dizzying dance that sends participants to peaks of exaltation and valleys of torment and back again. As Gloom Balloon painstakingly itemizes his own shortcomings, "When I view myself with anyone, I'm always the lowest of all, but that way there is now where left to fall." and reflects on the steps that led to his present day despair yep optimism in the wake of falling in love, his resigned tone of voice makes the snags and snarls of an affair seem almost heroic.
The album is full of recurring themes both lyrically and musically. Orchestral flourishes, infectious horn arrangements, brash guitar solos, and the simmering power of soulful back ground singers are positively celestial. Gloom Balloon transforms the common songwriter conceit romance as a path to enlightenment, if not redemption—into a revelatory, all-consuming epic quest that is as, "Constant As The Sky."