A Winged Victory for the Sullen


“A Winged Victory for the Sullen”, “Sleep Hills of Vicodin Tears”, “Requiem for the Static King” … If titles like that remind you of the Stars of the Lid, you are right. Almost.

For this project, Lid’s Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie teams up with Dustin O’Halloran. No real surprise, since they already worked together on O’Halloran’s latest album (Lumiere” ).

With the help of some familiar (Peter Broderick, Hildur Gudnadottir) and some less familiar contributors the duo presents A Winged Victory for the Sullenwhich will obviously appeal to all Stars of the Lid fans. And a lot more people that probably don’t know this album even exists.

The connection to the Stars of the Lid may raise immediate attention for this project. The Stars have been the pioneers and the driving force of the ‘post-classical ambient music’: music performed by a small string section, backed by sparse electronics.
But if you expect this to be ‘just like’ another SotL project, you might be surprised (or disappointed – depending on what you were expecting from it).

Musically, A Winged Victory for the Sullen is very much in line with the latest SotL projects. There’s much of the almost familiar melancholic, stretched chords played by the strings section. Chords that seem to merge with the electronic background sounds almost unnoticed.
But compared to the SotL minimalism – they always seemed to be looking for the perfect endless closing chord – there’s much more melody and dynamics in these compositions.

These melancholic and sometimes sad arrangements could have been written for a movie soundtrack. It is sweet, beautiful, there are no ‘rough edges’ to it and it’s much less ‘detached-from-earth’ than the SotL music mostly is.
But is that a bad thing (as some people seem to feel)?
I don’t think so. It’s not a Stars of the Lid album, after all, it’s Wiltzie and O’Halloran presenting A Winged Victory for the Sullen. So we should expect this to be different from the Stars of the Lid!

By the way: it may be interesting to note that Brian McBride (Wiltzie’s partner from the Stars of the Lid) released his solo album (The Effective Disconnect” )  as a movie soundtrack for “The Vanishing of the Bees”). 

A Winged Victory for the Sullen firmly takes its place between the current wave of ‘post-classical’ albums from people like Max Richter, Johann Johannsson, Olafur Arnalds, Peter Broderick.
It combines the best of this kind of music with the orchestral sound of the Stars of the Lid – easily making it one of the most important albums of 2011!

A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Requiem for the Static King, Part Two

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  1. PvC

    I don’t usually promote local events and gigs on this weblog, but for this occasion I like to mention that “A Winged Victory for the Sullen” will perform live in Utrecht, Holland on november, 26 (2011), as part of the “Le Guess Who” festival. I’ll be there too, of course!