It’s not terribly uncommon these days for an album to be given a limited print run, or be relegated strictly to digital release. When a fair amount of artists are self-financing, the least expensive options are sometimes the most practical. But the relative rarity of Shedding’s Tear In the Sun, its physical release limited to 500 transparent LPs, almost seems reflective of the album’s intimate feel. It’s not an album meant for mass distribution, marketing or consumption. Yet, there is certainly something special about it.
Tear In the Sun is as minimalist as pop albums tend to come, if you can even call it ‘pop.’ Rather, what Shedding, AKA Connor Bell, constructs is something more akin to the ambient pieces of Tim Hecker, or perhaps Ravi Shankar’s lengthy ragas. These aren’t songs with clearly discernable verses or choruses, but rather long and meditative drones, albeit ones accompanied by Bell’s soft and likewise droning voice. Bell builds his first few pieces from single-note harmonium hums, before turning those notes into chords, and occasionally adding some guitar just to inject a little more color into the buzzing hive of an atmosphere. Yet as the album proceeds, as on “Idealize,” Bell begins to explore more melodic, pretty forms. Still, the transition to the second side, with much more depressive and harsh titles like “Cauterize,” “Suffocate” and “Incineration,” he distances himself yet again from pop song form, retreating into even more minimal and abstract drones.
To pick apart each “song” piece by piece on Tear In the Sun would be a fool’s errand. It’s best to absorb the sound that Bell emits, soak in it, become a part of it even. It’s less entertainment than optional interactive spiritual experience.
Stream: Shedding – Tear In the Sun
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.