Nonconnah – Dead Roses, Digged up Zombies, Broken Pieces of Diamonds, Live Cats

Nonconnah is the brainchild of Zachary and Denny Corsa. A husband and wife duo that emerged in the wake of another band, Lost Trail. Having been consumed by his work in the previous band; an overwhelming project that drove him to sacrifice relationships and health, Zachary decided to set a new trajectory. Noncannah was the name of a project. Things would be different, healthier, more balanced.

The new album is the first fully-fleshed out project from Nonconnah. It’s called Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces of Diamonds, Live Cats. It’s an album title that should win awards. It’s an album title that’s a direct quote from a friend of the band’s very young child. The kid was asked “What’s inside your head?” The kid gave this angular, insanely beautiful response. The kid should be given royalties.

There’s a lot going on with a title like, Dead Roses, Digged up Zombies, Broken Pieces of Diamonds, Live Cats. In the hands of an adult this title would seem reaching, self-consciously obscure, and it would act as an impediment to the process. In reality, that this title came from a child – the free form associations are allowed to cascade, and the poetry is authentic. That the phase sits across an album of drone rock and experimental music is perfect. Like a kid’s mind is perfect – as yet unfettered by the internal edit button that prevents authentic expression when someone asks “What’s on your mind?”

Across twenty-one tracks of the album Nonconnah build a series of textures that relate, and also refract the light generated by tracks preceding, and following. Atmospheres carry an amber light. Shapes are offered, not by patterns, but rather by the way things are cut together. Elements are layered, and then spread out. The emotive sense of a subject is more significant than an academic breakdown of events. The result is a powerful magic-realism.

Here and there across the abstraction of sound there are voices. Vocal tracks aren’t well-defined, when they are clear, like on ‘We love our rotting industrial dystopia’, they’re not always encouraging, but they do bring humanity. They’re suspended above the instrumental bed. Like Pollock’s Blue Poles, across the amorphous expression suddenly there are elements of form. These human elements are points of reference in a bottomless landscape. The ghost of a radio playing in an abandoned shaft. There may not be a person right here, but they’re not far from here. We are not alone, and it’s reassuring.

There are some darker, more brooding elements to the sequence. However, challenges come that dismantle the ego. ‘Ego Death At Houston Levee’ is an explicit reference to the ambition of the sequence. In dismantling the ego we dig into the authentic self. Of course there’s pain, but on the far side of process, and even in process, there is light and a salvation that comes from a deeper understanding of the dark. An alternative is offered, and it’s beautiful.

Drone rock isn’t known for being accessible, yet Nononnnah have delivered a collection of music that is the very definition of beguiling. From the outset this stuff is immediate, engaging, mesmeric. The sense of rising above, or salvation, somehow permeates these tracks. There’s a sense of shade and light, loss and redemption. It’s a good thing that Zacahary Corsa rebuilt his relationship with music. Because this album is a good thing. If you have a mate that says shit like ‘Yeah, but what’s the point in drone rock?’ you can respond, ‘Dead Roses, Digged up Zombies, Broken Pieces of Diamonds, Live Cats’



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