SEE: Less Bells – ‘The Fang’: fashioning beauty from grief for Kranky

YOU may well have heard Julie Carpenter, if you have not yet heard of her.

A graduate of the University of North Texas, multi-instrumentalist and composer Julie has been called upon to add violins to work by the Eels and the Brian Jonestown Massacre, amongst others.

But she has also been creating deep, ambient drone for that fine Texan imprint and curator of much that is languid and intensely exploratory in the past 17 years, Kranky, hosting as it has at various times, Windy and Carl, Stars of the Lid, Loscil and Labradford, Grouper and Tim Hecker. 

She has one album under her belt for Kranky: 2018’s Solifuge, both created in and wholly inspired by the high desert of the Mojave around the joshua tree of Gram Parsons fame, which she created in tandem with Dain Luscombe, and on which she married her orchestral experience with contemporary electronica.

A beautiful, blissful and haunting work it proved, and she is now ready with her second LP for the label, Mourning Jewelry.

In a ravaged year, Julie looks to “create beauty of grief” from the palette afforded her by strings, synthesisers, choirs and even, in a nod to the psychogeography of the recording, banjos.

Ahead of the album, which will be with us on August 21st, she has released a video for the track “The Fang”: you can watch below. 

Rivers, reeds, streams, boardwalks unfold in negative and in solarisation, with green-screened patterns and signifiers, imagery, flickering over the top in superimposition.

The song preludes on synth sustain and distant choir, with a rising string note a recurring bass anchor. A flamenco guitar strum metronomes the time as yearning string melodies rise; the whole shaping that sort of beauty that has a sad ache in its core.

Backseat Mafia will be taking a deep dive into Mourning Jewelry ahead of release; watch for our review come August.

Watch for release news for Les Bells’ Mourning Jewelry at

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