For the better part of the past decade, the London, Ontario-based husband-and-wife duo Wormwood have been quietly cultivating an aura of mystique with their spellbinding electroacoustic compositions. On their latest record, My Two Minds Become Air, the pair diverge from the IDM and electronica-inspired sound of previous efforts, instead opting to indulge their filmic neo-classical tendencies.
The opening track “Harptree” sets the stage for melodrama: a high-pitched woodwind vibrato motif rises to the ears like a shrill cry before fading into a backdrop of birdsong and orchestral swells. This acts as a prelude to “My Two Minds Become Air, Pt. 1,” which envelops the listener in a state of starry-eyed wonder with its wind chime samples and arpeggiating bells, underscored by sombre strings and resonant synth. Other memorable moments include the twitchy, downtempo throb of “Triangles” or the cerebral, vocoded poetry of “Recollection.” Throughout the album, Wormwood’s arrangements are suffused with a pathos suited to the rising and falling action of a performance piece. Indeed, the album’s liner notes reveal that many of the tracks were written and recorded to accompany dance. Although it is unclear what style of dance performance the tracks were intended for, one can easily envision fluid bodies moving gracefully in synch to Wormwood’s mesmeric soundscapes.
Whether serving as a score for performance or simply as solo headphone listening, My Two Minds Become Air offers much in the way of synaptic stimulation. With each successive track, the full panoramic scope of Wormwood’s sonic imagery grows more vivid to the mind’s eye. Sometimes, the world within feels vaster than the world without.