Kalachuchi is an album blossoming with vivid sound. It becomes quickly apparent from the opening haze of sound that persists within Deaf Joe’s latest offering that Kalachuchi is a delicate thing resting on a solid textural and songwriting bedrock. Resulting in a record of striking sonic contrasts.
The dreamlike ‘Shadow Work’ opens proceedings. Merging dream-pop, electronica and indie flourishes, the song sets the scene. No sound is an island, as all things meld into one, including Deaf Joe’s softly portrayed vocal. Indeed, much like its opening track, Kalachuchi itself is a blending of vibrant colors.
Ensuring the record never falls into the trap of being too ethereal. Deaf Joe populates Kalachuchi with dynamic peaks and troughs. The aptly named ‘Cut Through The Clouds’ moves to a snapping beat that rises from the record’s serene backdrop. While the gently set ‘Make Amends’ has a kaleidoscopic sense of fragility. This is again contrasted by the sonic abstraction of ‘Erase Everything’. A short soundscape that highlights what’s going on beneath Kalachuchi.
But Kalachuchi’s power is in its gentle moments. ‘Higher, Forever’ is a ballad laid bare that crucially sets aside the washing textures of Kalachuchi to start but instead gradually reintroduces them. Set against a tense piano line, Deaf Joe’s vocal weaves and layers itself around the song’s core. As the harmonies build, the atmospheric edge that dominates Kalachuchi is more potent by its absence and emergence.
And so it goes, Kalachuchi is a lovingly crafted offering from Deaf Joe. Every sound and harmony is in its proper place, while every rhythm and beat clicks perfectly. A record of genuine moments of beauty, Deaf Joe has made exactly the album he wanted to make, and it shows.