Stars of the Lid – and Their Refinement of the Decline

Dug this one out of the archives the other night and have been revisiting it since. The Austin,TX duo Stars of the Lid have been creating exquisite ambient soundscapes for over 15 years now. They are on the Kranky label, which is home to other ambient superstars Tim Hecker and Loscil. This particular album is from 2007 and showcases the groups shift from 4track style production to a “refined” crystal clear production. The songs are very discreet but will make you beam with euphoria. So if you are planning to sleepwalk on the moon, don’t forget the Stars of the Lid.


1-1. Dungtitled (in A Major)
1-2. Articulate Silences Part 1
1-3. Articulate Silences Part 2
1-4. The Evil That Never Arrived
1-5. Apreludes (in C Sharp Major) – [MP3]
1-6. Don’t Bother They’re Here
1-7. Dopamine Clouds Over Craven Cottage
1-8. Even If You’re Never Awake (Deuxième)
1-9. Even (Out) +
1-10. A Meaningful Moment Through a Meaning(less) Process
2-1. Another Ballad for Heavy Lids
2-2. The Daughters of Quiet Minds
2-3. Hiberner Toujours
2-4. That Finger on Your Temple Is the Barrel of My Raygun
2-5. Humectez La Mouture
2-6. Tippy’s Demise
2-7. The Mouthchew
2-8. December Hunting for Vegetarian Fuckface

Here’s what Pitchfork had to say about the album:
Drone legends Stars of the Lid find their music drifting toward this rarefied place on their first album after an almost six-year absence. On first listen, And Their Refinement of the Decline seems a continuation of its beloved precursor, 2001’s The Tired Sounds of… It is again a double CD with about two hours of music; it uses a similar palette of violin, cello, and Stuart Dempster-inspired horns to augment the electronically generated drones. Song titles again refer to brain chemistry (“Dopamine Clouds Over Craven Cottage”), altered states (“Another Ballad for Heavy Lids”), and the nuts and bolts of the music’s creation (Apreludes (in C sharp major)”). And yet, upon putting on Tired Sounds of… again for comparison, I see Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride have actually come some distance in the last half-decade. And the place they’re moving to is starker, quieter, somehow even more subtle, where the tiniest amount of sound information is put upon to do the greatest amount of work. Where Tired Sounds of… sounded genteel and stately next to the raw four-track feedback fests they’d started with (“Tape Hiss Makes Me Happy” summed up their debut nicely), it now sounds about halfway between their genesis and this album; “refinement” turns out to be the perfect word.

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