TRACK: El Ten Eleven – ‘You Are A Piece of Me, You Are A Piece of Her’: a ‘gazey post-rock lullaby

El Ten Eleven, photographed by Shervin Lainez

LOS ANGELES postrock duo El Ten Eleven, who’ve been out there quietly carving away in their own instrumental space since 2004, have dropped a beautifully shoegazey, postrock lullaby, “You Are A Piece of Me, You Are a Piece of Her” in advance of their ambitious triple album Tautology, which is out via Joyful Noise come September 18th. 

It begins in immediately widening pulses of looped and distant guitar sonics, string harmonics, allows little nuances to breathe; it reminds me of lost London outfit Rothko, and it’s a very beautiful thing. The bass suggests tonal movement, drums trill lightly, and that overloaded, processed guitar gives the whole a halcyon shoegazey feel. 

That itself would prove a repast for the soul, ebbing and shifting like clear water, as it does; you could float here for a long time. But it oh so gradually shifts up through the gears, as the guitar chimes louder, moves centrestage, is joined by other drone textures. It could be one of the most simple yet beautiful tugs at the chest your correspondent has heard in a long time. 

“[It’s] a song for my daughter,” explains El Ten Eleven’s Kristian Dunn. “The ‘Me’ and ‘Her’ in the title refers to my wife and me. 

“I was envisioning when my wife and I depart this mortal coil someday (hopefully a long time from now!) and thought about my daughter living without us. It made me feel quite melancholy and emotional and this song is the result.”

The triple album which follows, Tautology, takes the listener on a journey through life too: you’ll find recurring motifs and melodies across the triple set, cast in different ways. The band describe it as “three records that represent the journey from adolescence through end of life … each of the records has a distinct quality.

“The first, Tautology I, represents adolescence, is angsty, aggressive and occasionally depressive; the second, Tautology II, represents middle age, is mid-tempo; the last, Tautology III, which represents the golden years, is more ambient and quiet.”

It’s a set of post-rock ambition and scale of execution we perhaps last saw with The Stars of the Lids’ hushed triple And The Refinement Of Their Decline back in 2007.

The Tautology series is initially available digitally, with both 3xLP and 3xCD physical versions available on September 18th. There’s traditional black and clear vinyl editions; a red, blue and green pressing has long gone already, we’re afraid.

Order yours at the Joyful Noise Recordings’ webstore, joyfulnoise/tautology.

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