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Crystal Dorval from Vancouver, Canada, has been making healing, distorted rug-gaze music from a coastal mindset all her own since 2011. Natural Phenomena is her second album, and it echoes 2013’s self-titled effort in its isolationist origins, as the record emerged slowly across a nine-month retreat alone on a farm on Vancouver Island: “Some days I would only add one tiny guitar line or keyboard texture and that would be it for the day… it was a long process.”
However grueling and gradual the method, what accrued is gold—ten of Dorval’s deepest dreamdives, starry ambient pools and dissolved guitar designs, ghosted through a lens of grey-skied pop. Songs wax and wane across faded rainbows of guitar, sunrise keyboards, looped percussion and vocal ocean-spray.
Behind Dorval’s gauze of warm noise glows something pure and newer than new age: “My hope is that these positive feelings will be communicated sonically, or in essence, and will be enriching for listeners.” A high height for a climbing talent; White Poppy blooms on cliffs of light.