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Bell Horses – This Loves Lasts Time

Released by Trysquare, 10/13/09

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

As horses passing in the night, Xian Hawkins and Jenny Owen Youngs’ debut album for Bell Horses, This Loves Lasts Time, strings up eight songs with a variety of arrangements, mixing and matching sounds and samples so as not to collide.

“Still Life” leads the album with a patchwork of sounds that accentuate Jenny’s ethereal vocals that ghostly lead to calling into the “Small Hours”. Xian’s voice spills into the weightlessness as an outer worldly feeling interweaves with the guitar, strings and drums. “All our dreams are fantasies all the mysteries inside,” sing Xian and Jenny. This only pronounces the feeling and mood of This Loves Lasts Time.

Denis Blackham was the farrier, fitting and mastering the eight tracks. Known for his work with Brian Eno and Cocteau Twins, he was a great fit for Bell Horses. Xian and Jenny’s vocals were accompanied on several tracks throughout the album with Alexander Ericson, Michael Lerner and Eve Boltax. “The Comb” keeps up with the steady feeding of spacey and airy, delved out in flakes. “Photograph” is the most energetic song that doesn’t lead to a canter but a good trot, leaving you longing for more grains. It provides a juxtaposition that allows a brief view into the window of atmospheric range without compromising the concept of the piece. Only “Dust of Us” comes back to this point and harnesses this energy before being unbridled and left to roam the prairies of possibility.

Hawkins and Youngs’ pop outing may not be marked by their stars. Similar to the Akhal-Teke, This Loves Lasts Time will be tried and tested and only then will its form come to light. Whether you’re a sport and have endurance, Bell Horses lay out a work to saddle up.