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After 2010's Shadow Temple, Prince Rama's debut offering for Paw Tracks, the group shed guitarist-vocalist Michael Collins, leaving sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson a duo. On Trust Now, the band's fourth full-length, there is a sonic shift, with the Larson sisters doing almost everything themselves; percussionist Paul Kikuchi helps in various places, as does engineer Scott Colburn. Prince Rama's sound, while always cosmic and informed by East Indian and Gothic sources, is even more so, yet it has become enigmatic here. These five tracks are all driven by swirling synths, organs, acoustic keyboards, percussion, and bass. The lack of a conventional guitar doesn't hold the Larsons back; if anything, it has made songwriter Taraka focus more intently. While still completely spacy, the reliance on rhythm has sharpened her focus in creating more readily apparent, even chantable melodies; after all, the duo did grow up in a Hare Krishna temple. What is a constant throughout the album is that these cuts are all more witchy; as in ritualistic, incantatory, and spellbinding. "Rest in Peace," the album's opener, comes out of the void, with a solitary voice wailing from a distance before layers of hand drums and tom-toms, and a zig-zagging analog synth line, take over the front; the prominent vocal lines are layered in as a melody, and a second, nearly countering one, is grafted on from a toy piano before a brief percussion solo, while an enormous bass and synth illustrate it all. Bells and reverb crown the sisters' voices in staggered alto and soprano chanting. The hinge track, "Trust," uses the first of its six minutes with a sprawling analog synth wail before drums, cymbals, and metallic percussion introduce the sisters hypnotically drone-chanting "Trust" before fading out midway; a slow, brain-melting, processional, near-hymn emerges, becoming ever more lush and complex as the track continues; it gradually becomes a seductive melody. Closer "Golden Silence" is the most conventionally melodic track here. Contralto and soprano vocals harmonize on a melody reminiscent of This Mortal Coil before Prince Rama's trademark sonics move it nearly out of the earthly realm altogether and into an ether-like vaporousness that envelops the listener completely. After three more amorphous recordings, Trust Now reveals a mature, realized Prince Rama sound, at once intoxicating and beguiling.
Performance CreditsPrince Rama Primary Artist
Scott Colburn Vocals
Paul Kikuchi Metal Percussion
Taraka Larson Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Nimai Larson Drums,Harmony
Jaye Barr Vocals
Technical CreditsScott Colburn Engineer
Taraka Larson Composer
Corey Towers Cover Photo
Jesse Hlebo Layout