We Love to Look at the Carnage the 5th album by Brooklyn's Wrekmeister Harmonies, J.R. Robinson, and Esther Shaw, features
frequent collaborator Thor Harris (Swans, Shearwater) percussion and Jamie Stewart (Xiu Xiu) electronics. The album was tracked in a cabin
in the woods and mixed with Martin Bisi (Sonic Youth, Swans) at his
BC Studios. Wrekmeister Harmonies, known for their large ensemble performances and intense recordings, create immense tension with
spare arrangements and instrumentation. We Love to Look at the
Carnage charts a restless journey beginning in the middle of the night
and ending in the wee hours of the morning. Robinson's brooding lyrics
grapple with phantoms both real and imagined, apparitions amplified
by the feverish anxiety of insomnia. Shaw's ethereal vocals dueling with
Robinsons baritone create a delicious tension. Her stellar keyboard
and violin work are on full display providing moments of calm.
In keeping with the album's stark lyrical content, much of We
Love to Look at the Carnage was written in relative isolation. During the deep freeze of the New York winter, the duo decamped from their
home in Brooklyn to a cabin in Woodstock. Wrekmeisters music has
always drawn heavily on literature, this one is no exception. Influenced
by Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, they find strength in stoicism. He
explains: "hanging a more positive frame on the circumstances through
the practice of negative visualization, .. things could always be worse".
We Love to Look at the Carnage, traverses an emotional landscape, through a metaphorical night with moments of calm between the dark
storms. It is a celebration of the beauty of endurance, the hope in stoically
moving against the dark forces that invade our thoughts and lives. The
spare instrumentation a potent reflection of the isolation of the insomniac.