Long ago in the deep time Ceres and Calypso were traversing through barren wasteland of a planet built of a singular land mass, surrounded by waters. At first it seems like imagined, fantasy world with two heroines but Candy Claws decided to surprise their listeners and present us with a story of a Seal and a Girl set in Mesozoic era, traveling and experiencing beauties of Earth from millions of years ago. I find the concept of this LP intriguing, captivating and, most importantly, tremendously original.
Album kicks off with one of the denser songs, giving listener a taste of what is about to come and also giving a hint of what the presented world actually can be. Heavy, distorted sound carries all through the record, as usual for pieces of music related to dream pop genre. The melodies can be overwhelming at times, making it difficult to figure out what exact instruments are playing or even what are the vocalists trying to present. This can put off people who enjoy their lyrics but do not want to look them up constantly. That can be one of the bigger drawbacks of the album but compared to beauty and warmth of music it is a minor inconvenience.
One common idea that Candy Claws have for the album is using rather scarce lyricism, repeating lines and just focusing on throwing the listener into shoegazy and condensed instrumentals that are very well produced. First example of such act that popped into my head is third song - Fell in Love (At the water). I really enjoy it's vibe, imagery of warm, fuzzy weather full of insects, gorgeous colours and beauty of nature. When it comes to non-lyrical parts of the album, Transitional Girl is, for me, an absolute higlight. The bridge sounds surreal, is catchy and highly memorable. This brings me to one of another great qualities of the record - the fact that besides it being slightly difficult to approach, it rewards the listener with many sounds that get stuck in their head and just make them return to the LP time and time again. Those returns though, can be challenging at times, it is not hard to feel tired when you try to listen to it from beginning to the end.
Personally, I really enjoy concept albums, especially the ones with storylines and interesting worlds they are founded upon. This record shows many different events that could have happened during Mesozoic era and the quirks of the Earth back in that time, from dried deserts to dense forests, full of weird creatures hiding in the dark. All adventures of Ceres and Calypso lead to Where I Found You, the culmination of duo's adventures. They are witnessing the fifth and final mass extinction of Earth, accompanied by view of gorgeous sky, lava and ash bursting through the ground, covering everything in death. By no means is that a negative ending, planet dies to be born anew and, in my interpretation, for them to reunite after it is all over.
Album offers a variety of sounds that with every repeating listen pop up and stick with you. Fern Lake presents an interesting idea for itself, first leg of the song has two vocalists sing random words or even random letters that do not make sense at first glance. But if you are to combine them you can make out full sentences. Another sprinkle of variety can be heard in Night Ela, early part of the songs reminds me of electronic music, with it's strong, noticeable bassline and ambivalence of distorted guitar sounds that we already got really used to by that time.
Summing up, Ceres & Calypso in the Deep Time is a must listen for fans of interesting ideas presented in records, shoegaze and dreampop enthusiasts and even if you don't belong to either one of those two groups, give it a listen, hopefully you will not regret it!