Set in the deserts of sand and heat, the inkling apparitions of noise coming from Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network is a perspiring spring of oasis. Opening with “Is The Season For New Incarnations,” the soft almost tribal synths and percussion opens Dawson’s voice as a beacon of ceremony. The eerie performance is tense, but in a similar vein can provide an overarching reach of grace and prosperity. When describing through her lyrics, “Is now nigh for new faces, listen children, babes, and aces. Furious joy and grim loss, ever the children shall pay the cost.” Spoken mostly in rhymes and riddles, the enigmatic writing style is what could be painted on canvas against that which cannot be echoed through music.
Much of Ballet Of Apes is an often sluggish crawl through what happens to be miles of never-ending dunes and desolation. Scattered among are these pockets of elegance and flavor where Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network is a modern-day rendition of flower power. Even the cover art that is done by Kyle Ranson, the gorgeous nature stems from both sound and appearance with abstract picturesque murals. To match the fluid backdrop that paints on tracks like “The Fool” or “When My Day Of The Crone Comes” takes precision or rather a lack of and ultimately, leads to some of the best matching paint to the performance.
Later, there is the sullen “Heartbreak Jazz” that flashes into the listing as one of the longer displays of musical athleticism and has Dawson whispering but shouting internally. She describes, “Haunted by my dreams, how long the dark night seems and anyway. In my mind, you’re already gone.” As the track begins, it is only a synth lead and Dawson’s vocals, but then instruments like percussion from Jason Robira and strings from Jim McHugh are introduced to bring fruition to a funeral. The always shifting line-up adds some dexterity to the motions and keeps fresh coats of paint over a release that sculpts over seven total tracks.
When the curtain call comes, Ballet Of Apes depends more on orchestrating a symphony of gracious misery and constructing a backbone that is both dependable and mind-bending. With a sizzling heat that conquers the unquenchable night, Dawson is a pillar for throwing sound into a vibrant dose.