EDEIDA is the debut solo album by Thought Forms’ Charlie Romijn under her Silver Stairs Of Ketchikan moniker. Simon Tucker reviews.
Release Date: 4th June 2021
Existing in parallel with her work in the acclaimed West Country band Thought Forms, Silver Stairs of Ketchikan has been singer/multi-instrumentalist Charlie Romijn’s outlet for more solitary and improvisational works. Now solidified into a cohesive eight track album and exploring themes of fragility and violence, EDEIDA is the voice of a singular artist reaching to her heritage to lay a path for her future.
Recorded at J & J Studio’s in Bristol EDEIDA is an album that manages to balance the grand with the intimate. At times it has a cavernous sound like on the thumping opener Old God’s Tongue, which insists you follow Romijn into her world with lurching drums and droning undercurrents, whilst at others it whispers in your ear like on the beautiful title track or Child Smile Eyes. It is this push and pull between the cosmic and the minutiae that lays at the heart of EDEIDA and within that conflict a balance is found.
Throughout EDEIDA Romijn and the musicians she has play on the album help to cement an atmosphere over the album which makes it feel like a truly complete listening experience. EDEIDA is drenched in Gothic atmosphere and no we’re not talking white face paint or Bat Cave’s, EDEIDA is Gothic as in Shelley…Amiens Cathedral…shadows and mist. Listen to the way Pylon shuffles through the corridors skulking in the shadows or Passager’s ceremonial incantations. EDEIDA is an album where each song feels like the next chapter in a newly discovered classic text with the whole experience seems to be smothered in an ancient dust.
Sonically EDEIDA has touchstones you can hear with bands like Earth, Swans, PJ Harvey Thought Forms themselves being in the mix but what Romijn does is to take these references and mold them in to a brand new sound that feels familiar yet intoxicating and fresh. The biggest reason for this is her voice which throughout the entire running time of the album takes centre stage acting as an anchor and a trustworthy narrator. Lyrics sometimes pop clear whilst other times they morph and contort forcing you to listen with more intent to try and decipher their meaning. EDEIDA is Romijn’s strongest recorded vocal performance to date.
Charlie Romijn has, under the banner of Silver Stairs Of Ketchikan, created an album that is rich in imagery and texture. EDEIDA is a world for us to disappear in to, removing us from our own location and into a place full of crumbling staircases, flickering curtains and the faces of characters we invest our time and concern in. EDEIDA is a wonderful act of storytelling via the medium of music and is a singular vision executed beautifully.