The Dark Water Hymnal

As Above, So Below

Texas Platters

The Dark Water Hymnal

As Above, So Below

The evolution from the Dark Water Hymnal's eponymous 2007 EP to first LP As Above, So Below is one of maturity and restraint, comfort woven through the smooth harmonies of Jeremy Ballard and Emily Hurt. As soon as Ballard's deep, opiatic vox meets the plucked sigh of Andrea Couch's violin on opener "Furrows," spark becomes candlelight. Despite the darkness, As Above is far from depressive (save for the minor chords of "Blood Sun"). "Wake Today" begins slow and easy only to break out in a joyous revival, and "Sophia" visits Django Reinhardt at a Dust Bowl carnival. Ballard's a storyteller, each song having a through line of emotional range. Simplicity can breed ennui, but with little more than acoustic guitar, snare drum, and Couch's strings, As Above exudes a refreshing purity. When voices rejoice on "Unending Through the Dark" and closer "White Clouds Moving Over," the healing begins.

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