The mind-bending world of Elysia Crampton is about to get even bigger.
The “epic collage” artist formerly known as E+E will release her debut album on FaltyDL’s Blueberry Records on July 31, following last year’s attention-grabbing and wholly disorientating The Light That You Gave Me To See You.
American Drift exists as part of Crampton’s Shenandoah Series and is “a concept study that follows Virginian American history, exploring brownness as more than culture or othering, as geology. As mud, dirt and mineral, enmeshed in lithic, vast time scales,” explains the press release. “American narratives are re-examined on this level: narratives of colonized and colonizer, slave histories, impact events and fern spikes, two-spirit and queer indigenous histories. Trans-ontologies are given voice and resonance.”
Musical influences are drawn from across the continent, with Latin American prog, Bolivian and Peruvian psych and metal, Mexican Tribal, Southern hip hop, psychedelic folk and blues all thrown into the heady mix.
The four tracks on the album are accompanied by brief notes explaining the dense concepts behind each – dig into those below and listen to ‘Petrichrist’ for a taster of the strange evolutions in store.
1. ‘American Drift’ – Works as a transevangelistic prayer written by Elysia for Money Allah. wildly disanthropocentric, follows a transcorporeal and transmutagenetic movement across objects. Based on the hymn “Rock of Ages” written in 1763 and Paul Claudel’s notes on the psalter/ stations of the cross.
2. ‘Axacan’ – Based and named on the violent story of the first Spanish settlement in Virginia, dedicated to Elysia’s friend and performance artist Boychild, as well as the late queer theorist, Jose E Munoz.
3. ‘Petrichrist’ – Based on the etymology of the word “petrichor,” this piece follows a journey in Elysia’s Ford Ranger, driving up Shenandoah mountain: an encounter between mountain and vehicle, interactions of non-human objects touching one another in a worlding where all things have agency. dedicated to writer Jeffrey J. Cohen and crunk artist Nicole Walker.
4. ‘Wing’ – A song in two portions, beginning with impact event leading into negative photosynthesis, and finishing with a “fern spike event” as crunk-huayno ballad featuring Money Allah. the first portion of the song is loosely based on the melody to the spiritual “wade in the water” and is dedicated to the late composer Margaret Bonds.