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An Earth Mirror is a magical device. Found in German occult literature, it is a clod of earth sandwiched between layers of glass. Gazing into the Earth Mirror is said to reveal the locations of hidden treasures. Magical visions and the revelation of mysteries in the landscape are two prominent features of Earth Mirror, the new album by Layla and Phil Legard alias Hawthonn, and their second for Ba Da Bing. Somewhere between moon musick and ethereal pop, the songs of Earth Mirror reflect the band’s transition from studio project to live performers in the wake of 2018’s Red Goddess (Of This Men Shall Know Nothing). The themes for the songs on this latest reflect the Legards’ experiences, magical and mundane, in the wake of Red Goddess and as the world then headed full-tilt into pandemic. On Earth Mirror, Layla’s heavenly voice accompanies a sonic palette encompassing field recordings of ice cracking on an ancient Corpse Road, mysterious hymns sung in disused medieval chapels, spectrally processed horse shrieks, rumbling organ, crystalline electric piano, electronic textures, and modulated jaw harp. No guitars appear on this album. Nor do conventional song-structures: the compositions here organically developed from dreams (“Dream Cairn”), experiments with inducing magical visions (“Odo Galse”, “Vehiel”), ruminations on lunar beings (“Crowned Light”, “Circles Of Light”), and ecological anxiety (“Cat’s Cradle”). Their literary influences include English witch Andrew Chumbley, nihilist philosopher Emil Cioran, the Enochian language of John Dee and Edward Kelly, and even Kurt Vonnegut. As true practitioners of niche occultism and sound manipulation, Hawthonn could easily have been an inscrutable project. However, under the careful guidance of the Legards, Earth Mirror feels close and immediate, minimal and expertly atmospheric.