Song Sung – This Ascension Is Ours

Originality falters in the debut effort from the McGeough sisters.

‘This Ascension is Ours’ is the debut LP by New York based Irish duo, Song Sung. Produced and cowritten by David Holmes and released on Night Time Stories (who also release the acclaimed ‘Late Night Tales’ mixes), ‘This Ascension is Our’s is reported to be the product of four years work with Holmes.

Right from the word go, layered reverb drenched vocals, reminiscent of ‘Souvlaki’ era Slowdive, set the listener up for a bleak listening session with dark soundscapes canvassing nearly every track. However, while the constant reverb and layered melodies make the songs repetitive in nature, the album is still enjoyable.

Track two, ‘Telling Tales’, is the standout song of the LP for me as it contradicts the very nature that the rest of the album sets out by simply being a slightly positive pop song. Simple drumbeats, more layered vocals and an unfamiliar throbbing in the background set the tone for a track that is one of the few upbeat pieces on what is essentially a very foreboding album.

The track ‘Testimony of Tears’ is where I stumbled on a realisation that changed my whole perception of the LP. The track itself is very good, relaxed tempo and something to very much turn your brain off to, however the intro (for me) was very similar to Joy Division’s 1980 single ‘Atmosphere’. This was when I realised my enjoyment of the album stemmed from the fact that it sounds like cheap black and white copies of artists that I like and have heard before. Soon after, I found a slight boredom creeping in when I realised, I could just listen to Cocteau Twins instead.

While the album may take itself a little too seriously and lacks originality in what it sets out to do, ‘This Ascension is Ours’ is still worth a listen for people who have fond memories of dream pop and British shoegaze.

Tom Mangham